Prehension patterns in restless legs syndrome patients

J. L. Alberts, C. H. Adler, M. Saling, G. E. Stelmach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The pathogenesis of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is poorly understood. Previously we have shown that a reach-to-grasp task can be used to differentiate Parkinson's disease (PD) patients from healthy age-matched control subjects. The aim of this study was to determine if performance on this task could be used to differentiate between patients with RLS, PD patients, and healthy control subjects. Results indicated that RLS and control participants produced movement patterns that were nearly identical to one another, while movement patterns produced by the PD patients were significantly different from the other two groups. These results suggest RLS patients do not show any abnormalities in the performance of upper extremity prehension movements. Thus, these movements can be used to effectively differentiate between patients with Parkinson's Disease and Restless Legs Syndrome. While RLS patients respond favorably to dopaminergic therapies, this study suggests that PD and RLS may not share the same basal ganglia pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Dopaminergic therapies
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Reach-to-grasp task
  • Restless legs syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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