Article

[Diagnosis and symptom rating scale of restless legs syndrome].

Japan Somnology Center, Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, 1-17-7-301 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0053, Japan.
Brain and nerve = Shinkei kenkyū no shinpo 06/2009; 61(5):533-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sensorimotor disorder, characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs and usually accompanied or caused by uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations. It begins or worsens during periods of rest or inactivity, is partially or totally relieved by movement and is exacerbated or occurs mainly in the evening or night. People suffering from RLS are estimated to represent 2-3% of the general Japanese population, which is relatively lower than the estimated prevalence in western countries. Supportive diagnostic critevia include family history, the presence of periodic-leg movements (PLM) when awake or asleep, and a positive response to dopaminergic treatment. RLS phenotypes include an early onset form that is usually idiopathic with frequent familial history and a late onset form that is usually secondary to other somatic conditions that are causative factors in RLS occurrence. In all patients presenting with complaints of insomnia or discomfort in the lower limbs, diagnosis of RLS should be considered. RLS should be differentiated from akathisia, which is an urge to move the whole body in the absence of uncomfortable sensations. Polysomnographic studies and the suggested immobilization test (SIT) can detect PLM in patients that are asleep or awake. RLS may cause severe sleep disturbances, poor quality of life, depressive and anxious symptoms, and may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Secondary RLS may occur due to iron deficiency, end-stage renal disease, pregnancy, peripheral neuropathy and drug use including antipsychotics and antidepressants. Small fiber neuropathy can trigger RLS or mimic its symptoms. RLS is associated with many neurological disorders, including Parkinson disease and multiple system atrophy; althoughit does not predispose to these diseases. A symptom rating scale for RLS authorized by the International RLS Study Group (IRLS) would facilitate accurate diagnosis of this condition.

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    ABSTRACT: Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common disorder described as an urge to move the legs. Dopamine, the main neuro-transmitter in the pathophysiology of RLS, is likely related to the development of brain laterality and human handedness. We aimed to compare the prevalence of RLS in right and non-right handers. A checklist including Edinburgh questioner for handedness, questions for RLS diagnosis and basic characteristics was filled out by a sample of population. The exclusion criteria included prolonged use of dopaminergic or psychologic drugs and having diseases with similar symptoms to RLS. The frequency of non-right handers in RLS patients was compared with the controls by Chi square test. P value less than 0.05 was considered significant. 164 persons were divided into RLS patients (69) and non-RLS controls (95). There was no significant difference between demographic characteristics. The prevalence of non-right handers in RLS patients was significantly more than non-RLS controls (P: 0.03). Our finding regarding the higher prevalence of non-right handers in RLS patients needs more justifications based on neuroscientists' guides. RLS as a disease in which dopaminergic system involves is highly assumed to be linked with handedness. This is just a hypothesis that impaired modulation of immune system in left handers may be accompanied with lower dopamine levels in RLS.
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