Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movements of sleep

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Patients afflicted with restless legs syndrome (RLS) experience an urge to move the limbs that most often is accompanied by unpleasant limb sensations. These symptoms are most severe at rest and improve with movement of the affected limb. In contrast to these limb movements voluntarily executed to attenuate RLS symptoms, periodic limb movements (PLM) are repetitive, highly stereotyped, involuntary movements that can occur during sleep (PLMS) or wakefulness (PLMW). Although these disorders may occur in isolation, they often are comorbid. Both RLS and PLM frequently occur in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), although it remains controversial whether the prevalence of these conditions is greater in PD patients than in the general population. RLS, PLM, and PD may all respond to dopaminergic medications; the degree to which the pathophysiology of these conditions overlaps is still being explored. As RLS and PLMS may be a cause of poor sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness in the PD population, effective treatment for these conditions can significantly improve the quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationParkinson's Disease, Second Edition
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781439807156
ISBN (Print)9781439807149
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Medicine


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