Navigation Links
Restless legs syndrome affects nearly 2 percent of US/UK children
Date:8/22/2007

Restless legs syndrome is a common problem in children 8 years of age and older in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to a new report from an international team of researchers.

Nearly 2 percent of children aged 8 to 17 are affected, and a significant proportion of those experience moderate to severe symptoms, including sleep disturbance and negative moods. The report appears in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics.

This study suggests that restless legs syndrome is common and troublesome in children and adolescents, occurring more frequently than diabetes and epilepsy, said principal investigator Daniel Picchietti, a professor of pediatrics in the University of Illinois College of Medicine and a pediatrician and sleep medicine specialist with the Carle Clinic Association and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological sleep disorder characterized by sensations in the legs that create an urge to move. Symptoms are typically worse at night and during rest. RLS is closely associated with another condition, periodic limb movement disorder, in which a persons legs jerk during sleep. Some people with periodic limb movement disorder also have RLS. Others lack the sensations in the legs that typify RLS.

Most of what is known about restless legs syndrome comes from research on adults. The new analysis is the first population-based prevalence study of RLS in children, and it is the first to use specific pediatric diagnostic criteria. The research team collected detailed data from 10,523 families in the U.S. and U.K.

The new study affirmed that there is a strong genetic component to RLS, Picchietti said. More than 70 percent of the children with RLS had at least one parent with the condition. In 16 percent of the affected children, both parents had RLS symptoms.

Two recent studies appearing in July in the New England Journal of Medicine and in Nature Genetics found genes associated with RLS.

Restless legs syndrome runs in families. That is one of the major points of our study, and the discovery of associated genes really supports it, Picchietti said.

Awareness of RLS in adults is increasing (depictions of and jokes about RLS are appearing more frequently in popular culture). It is less recognized in children, however, and parents and clinicians sometimes dismiss childrens complaints about unusual sensations in their legs as nothing more than growing pains, Picchietti said.

Many adults diagnosed with RLS report that their symptoms began in childhood. In the early 1990s, Picchietti began to notice that some children who came to his office because they had trouble sleeping or paying attention in school had symptoms of RLS. But there was scant research on the prevalence of RLS in children.

The new study included a rigorous analysis of participants reported symptoms, and excluded those who did not meet all of the National Institutes of Health criteria for diagnosing children with RLS. A child who had periodic limb movements during sleep and no other symptoms of RLS would not be counted, for example. A child who reported leg cramps or growing pains would not be included unless he or she met all of the other diagnostic criteria for RLS.

Some parents are surprised to learn that conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression appear to be more common in those diagnosed with RLS. Sleep disturbance, by itself, is known to aggravate ADHD and depression, which may explain the association, Picchietti said. But there may also be other reasons for the association.

Picchietti described the new findings as a major step forward in understanding how many children are affected by RLS. But this is not the final answer, he said. While some children with RLS had significant sleep disturbance and daytime symptoms, others did not. Which children would benefit from treatment and what those treatments should be are important issues to be addressed. Much more study is needed.


'/>"/>
Contact: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor
diya@uiuc.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Modeling the restless brain
2. Whats really making you sick? Plant pathologists offer the science behind Sick Building Syndrome
3. 15-year hunt finds cause of pseudothalidomide syndrome
4. Gene for immune deficiency syndromes found
5. Removing DNA repair gene causes metabolic syndrome
6. Congenital rubella syndrome nearly eradicated in the US
7. Researchers link two more genes to sudden infant death syndrome
8. Down syndrome: Its not just the age factor
9. Study uncovers mutation responsible for Noonan Syndrome
10. A potential biological cause for sudden infant death syndrome
11. Drug treatment improves learning in mice with Down syndrome symptoms, Stanford/Packard study shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the ... Continue Reading ... ... Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: