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What Is Restless Leg Syndrome

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Is Rls More Common In Pd

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

But what about the other possibility? Do patients with PD have an increased risk of RLS over the general population? Is it the same RLS as the person without PD has, or is it different? These questions have been difficult to answer. Of course, since PD affects about 1.5% of the elderly, and RLS in about 4-10% of the population, there will be some coincidental overlap. In addition to this however, patients with PD can have sensations that feel like RLS when their dose of dopamine medication is wearing off. These sensations are not truly RLS since they do not have the key features of RLS described above and fluctuate with medication timing, but they can be easily confused with RLS by the person with PD.

Studies of people with PD that assess for RLS and compare to a control group are hindered by the fact that the majority of patients with significant PD are under treatment with medications that affect RLS. Over the years, there have been multiple studies investigating whether RLS is more common in PD than in the general population. Different studies come to different conclusions. Studies conducted in which a group of people with PD are directly compared to a group of people without PD typically show that RLS is more common in PD than the general population.

What Research Is Being Done

The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.

While the direct cause of RLS is often unknown, changes in the brains signaling pathways are likely to contribute to the disease. In particular, researchers suspect that impaired transmission of dopamine signals in the brains basal ganglia may play a role. There is a relationship between genetics and RLS. However, currently there is no genetic testing. NINDS-supported research is ongoing to help discover genetic relationships and to better understand what causes the disease.

The NINDS also supports research on why the use of dopamine agents to treat RLS, Parkinsons disease, and other movement disorders can lead to impulse control disorders, with aims to develop new or improved treatments that avoid this adverse effect.

More information about research on RLS supported by NINDS or other components of the NIH is available through the NIH RePORTER , a searchable database of current and previously funded research, as well as research results such as publications.

What Are Common Signs And Symptoms Of Restless Legs

People with RLS feel the irresistible urge to move, which is accompanied by uncomfortable sensations in their lower limbs that are unlike normal sensations experienced by people without the disorder. The sensations in their legs are often difficult to define but may be described as aching throbbing, pulling, itching, crawling, or creeping. These sensations less commonly affect the arms, and rarely the chest or head. Although the sensations can occur on just one side of the body, they most often affect both sides. They can also alternate between sides. The sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful.

Because moving the legs relieves the discomfort, people with RLS often keep their legs in motion to minimize or prevent the sensations. They may pace the floor, constantly move their legs while sitting, and toss and turn in bed.

A classic feature of RLS is that the symptoms are worse at night with a distinct symptom-free period in the early morning, allowing for more refreshing sleep at that time. Some people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They may also note a worsening of symptoms if their sleep is further reduced by events or activity.

People with RLS can sometimes experience remissionsspontaneous improvement over a period of weeks or months before symptoms reappearusually during the early stages of the disorder. In general, however, symptoms become more severe over time.

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Primary Or Idiopathic Rls

Idiopathic means that the cause is unknown.

It is the most common type and has the following characteristics:

  • It usually begins before the age of 40.
  • It can start as early as childhood.
  • It may have a genetic cause.
  • Once primary RLS starts, it tends to be lifelong.

Symptoms may be sporadic, or gradually worsen and become more prevalent over time.

In mild cases, the person may have no symptoms for a long time.

Restless Legs Syndrome Medication

Restless Leg Syndrome RLS

Medication is currently considered the gold standard for people with moderate to severe RLS. To reduce the risk of unpleasant side effects, always work with a doctor to find the medication thats right for you.

People with RLS resulting from another condition, or those with another consideration such as pregnant women, children, people with anxiety or depression, or individuals with kidney disease, may need to exercise extra caution when taking medication.

RLS can be treated with several different families of medications, the most common being dopamine agonists and anti-seizure drugs.

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Restless Legs Syndrome Treatment

Thereâs no cure for restless legs syndrome itself, but treatments can help control it so you can get a good nightâs sleep.

If another condition is causing your restless legs, such as an iron deficiency, your doctor will treat it.

Treatment for RLS itself will target your symptoms. If your RLS is mild or moderate, some small changes to your everyday life might help: getting regular exercise following a sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.

Other ways to treat RLS without drugs include:

  • Leg massages

Common Problems With Diagnosing Restless Legs Syndrome

Many cases go undiagnosed because:

  • Many people do not seek a doctor’s help when they have symptoms.
  • Most people visit a doctor during the day, when symptoms are not present or are only mild.
  • Some doctors do not recognize the condition and may believe that the symptoms are caused by other conditions, such as insomnia, stress, muscle cramps, or arthritis.

Restless legs syndrome does occur in children but it is hard to diagnose for the same reasons. Children often are not able to describe their symptoms. A parent’s observations of the child’s behaviour and sleep may be helpful. Knowing that a parent or other close relative has restless legs syndrome can also help the doctor make a diagnosis of restless legs syndrome in the child.

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Home Care Tips For Restless Legs Syndrome

The following approaches can reduce symptoms in patients with mild or moderate RLS and may be used in combination with medication in RLS patients who have severe symptoms.

  • Sleep hygiene: Good sleep hygiene means maintaining a bedroom environment and a daily routine that supports high-quality sleep. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine is especially important for RLS patients because these substances can worsen symptoms.
  • Exercise: Because physical inactivity often triggers RLS symptoms, exercise may be helpful. A research study found that RLS patients showed af 39% reduction in symptom severity after six weeks of engaging in an exercise program compared to an 8% symptom reduction in patients who did not exercise.
  • Pneumatic pressure therapy: Pneumatic compression devices increase blood flow to the legs by filling with air to squeeze the legs. Researchers found that the device improved RLS symptoms, quality-of-life, and fatigue after one month of daily use compared to a control group.
  • Massage and hot baths: Using massage and hot baths to stimulate the legs is widely recommended in RLS literature however, there is limited scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of these methods at this time.

Learn more about treating RLS here.

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Troubled Leg Syndrome Diagnosis

What is Restless Leg Syndrome? (Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments)

The diagnosis of uneasy legs syndrome is made primarily by the case history as well as the background extracted from the client. There are signs and symptoms that are handy to identify uneasy legs syndrome. For instance, the urge to relocate the legs or the undesirable feelings start or aggravate during durations of lack of exercise such as resting or resting. When moving, especially strolling, the discomfort is minimized. At night or at night, the signs and symptoms are exacerbated.

Agitated legs syndrome is typically diagnosed when it satisfies these standards. However, extra screening may still be required to dismiss an additional reason for signs or to determine various other causes .

Various Other Diagnostic Examinations: The rest examination, also known as a polysomnogram, can be used to evaluate rest patterns. A polysomnogram includes examinations of brain activity, muscular tissue motions, and oxygenation throughout rest. This examination is usually done at a rest facility. According to these examination results, information concerning other reasons that may trigger agitated legs syndrome can likewise be gotten.

Other tests that might be done consist of blood examinations that can recognize iron shortage, kidney condition, thyroid illness, as well as diabetic issues. In some cases, imaging tests such as mind magnetic vibration imaging screening can aid determine architectural troubles such as several sclerosis.

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What Is The Prognosis For People With Restless Legs Syndrome

RLS is generally a lifelong condition for which there is no cure. However, current therapies can control the disorder, minimize symptoms, and increase periods of restful sleep. Symptoms may gradually worsen with age, although the decline may be somewhat faster for individuals who also suffer from an associated medical condition. A diagnosis of RLS does not indicate the onset of another neurological disease, such as Parkinsons disease. In addition, some individuals have remissionsperiods in which symptoms decrease or disappear for days, weeks, months, or yearsalthough symptoms often eventually reappear. If RLS symptoms are mild, do not produce significant daytime discomfort, or do not affect an individuals ability to fall asleep, the condition does not have to be treated.

Duration Of Restless Legs Syndrome

That said, current therapies can control the disorder, minimize symptoms, and increase periods of restful sleep.

In cases of secondary RLS, when your RLS is caused by another disease or condition, symptoms usually go away when the disease or condition improves.

In addition, if your restless legs syndrome is triggered by medications or the use of caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol, the condition usually improves or goes away once you stop using the medications or substances.

RLS as a disorder is not dangerous or life-threatening, but it can be uncomfortable, making it hard to sleep and affecting your quality of life.

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Can Marijuana Cause You To Be Restless

Can weed make RLS worse? Marijuana side effects vary from one individual to another. A strain that brings one person anxiety relief may cause paranoia in another. Certain strains of weed may cause restlessness. However, other strains are capable of reducing muscle spasms and seizures.

In fact, some users report that taking marijuana for RLS may help more than pharmaceutical medication. Take note that using will not cause adverse effects like restlessness and paranoia.

Can Weed Help With Restlessness

Natural Remedy for Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome has some correlation to dopamine deficiency in the brain. Marijuana is capable of increasing the production of dopamine in the brain. This is made possible due to the compound called THC, which is found in marijuana. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a compound that produces weeds psychoactive effects like heightened senses.

THC is similar in structure to anandamide, which is a chemical found naturally in the brain. Anandamide is responsible for sending chemical messages between cells in the body. Because of this similarity, THC can interact with the brains compounds easily.

For example, THC latches itself to molecules in the brain’s receptors and activates the brain’s reward system, leading to the production of dopamine, which is the pleasure hormone.

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About Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a common condition of the nervous system that causes an overwhelming, irresistible urge to move the legs.

It can also cause an unpleasant crawling or creeping sensation in the feet, calves and thighs. The sensation is often worse in the evening or at night. Occasionally, the arms are affected too.

Restless legs syndrome is also associated with involuntary jerking of the legs and arms, known as periodic limb movements in sleep .

Some people have the symptoms of restless legs syndrome occasionally, while others have them every day. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe. In severe cases, restless legs syndrome can be very distressing and disrupt a person’s daily activities.

What Is Persistent Genital Arousal Syndrome

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Persistent genital arousal disorder , previously called persistent sexual arousal syndrome, is a proposed disorder characterized by spontaneous, persistent, unwanted and uncontrollable genital arousal in the absence of sexual stimulation or sexual desire, and is typically not relieved by orgasm.

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Frontiers In Aging Neuroscience

University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Romania

Reviewed by

Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, China

The editor and reviewers’ affiliations are the latest provided on their Loop research profiles and may not reflect their situation at the time of review.

Testing For Restless Legs Syndrome

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Because restless legs syndrome is caused by underlying conditions, there is not a lab test or scan that can be used to diagnose restless legs syndrome. However, your doctor can test for underlying medical conditions such as anemia, diabetes, or kidney disease that is linked to restless legs syndrome. Blood tests can measure your blood count, hemoglobin levels, basic organ functions, and thyroid hormone levels.

I found that the following ranges for hormone levels are where my patients at my clinic thrived, not just lived:

  • TSH levels of 1-2 UIU/ML or lower
  • FT4 levels > 1.1 NG/DL
  • RT3 levels < 10:1 ratio RT3:FT3
  • TPO TgAb levels < 4 IU/ML or negative

Remember, it is the individual level of each hormone that determines if your hormones are in balance. Conventional medicine tests for isolated hormones on their own, which will not pick up on whether your hormones are out of balance.

Labs such as Ulta Labsoffer at-home tests for hemoglobin, liver and kidney function, and thyroid hormone levels.

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Role Of Dopamine In Rls

Although cerebrospinal fluid is a crude method for assessing the dopamine system in the brain, data from CSF indicated possible increase in brain dopamine production. Imaging studies using special radioactive chemicals have found reduced receptor and transporter function in the brain of more severely affected RLS patients.

Tissues from the Brain Bank have shown that the dopamine cells are normal in appearance and number, with no indication of damage. However, these studies also found that the dopamine receptors were decreased and the proteins associated with producing dopamine were increased.

The composite results suggest the presence of increased production and release of dopamine a malfunction of the receptors that bind the dopamine and transmit the dopamine signal to other cells. The increase in dopamine may be the brain cells’ response to the poor signal.

When you cannot hear the voices clearly on the TV, you turn up the volume. Cells interact with each other in the similar manner: if a cell cannot hear the dopamine message from another cell, it “tells” the other cell to “turn up” the dopamine. Thus despite the increase in dopamine, the end result may be a decrease in the effect that dopamine has on certain brains cells at certain times of the day leading to the develop of RLS symptoms.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

PLMD is a similarly related sleep disorder, sometimes called periodic limb movement during sleep . In people with PLMD, the limbs twitch or jerk uncontrollably while sleeping. It is also considered a type of sleeping disorder. The movement may cause the individual to wake up frequently during the night, and this can undermine the quality and length of sleep. It can lead to RLS.

Lifestyle changes and common medications that may help alleviate RLS symptoms include:

  • Warm baths and massages: These can relax the muscles and reduce the intensity of symptoms.
  • Warm or cool packs: Some people prefer warm, some cold, and others say that alternating hot and cold is helpful.
  • Relaxation techniques: Stress can make RLS worse, so exercises such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi may help.
  • Exercise using legs more can help alleviate symptoms. If the patient has a sedentary lifestyle, walking instead of driving, taking up a sport, or exercising the legs in a gym can help.

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What Does It Feel Like

A person with RLS has a strange and unpleasant sensation in the legs, and sometimes the arms, and a strong urge to move them. People have described these feelings as:

  • aching
  • tugging
  • tingling

The only way to relieve the discomfort is by moving the legs. The sensations tend to occur when the individual is resting or inactive, and not only during the night. Symptoms often worsen in the evening and at night, and may be relieved for a short while in the morning.

Solving The Mystery Of Restless Legs Syndrome: Acid

Restless Leg Syndrome

Its been called the most common disease nobodys heard of and also one of the big mysteries in medicine.

Its restless legs syndrome , a neurological and sleep disorder that causes discomfort and sometimes pain in the legs, particularly at night. It triggers a constant urge to move the legs that makes falling asleep and staying asleep difficult. And it can lead to other serious health problems, including depression.

RLS affects about 5-15% of adults in the United States. It shows up more as people age, occurs almost twice as often in women than men, and tends to run in families. Some studies have found a higher incidence of RLS among people with iron deficiency.

Yet for all that researchers know about it, RLS can be difficult to diagnose, in part because its symptoms overlap with other common conditions, such as nighttime leg cramps. Its also difficult to treat, as there are few effective medications or therapies for relieving the symptoms of the disorder, which has no known cure.

But a recent observational study found a link between the development of RLS and the use of certain prescription medications commonly used to reduce acid reflux. The study, published in the journal SLEEP, was funded in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute .

For now, he encourages anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of restless legs syndrome to see their doctor.

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