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Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic Views Representative Henry Waxman's Denial of Restless Leg Syndrome as a Sign of General Lack of Awareness of the Sleep Disorder
Date:7/27/2009

of good for the public."

Ironically, right after this statement, a caller from Virginia phoned in to deny Rep. Waxman's point. This caller, named Scott, said, "Rep. Waxman, as someone who does have Restless Leg Syndrome I can tell you that it does exist." After laughter from Waxman, the caller continued, "It's a terrible thing. I had achieved that (RLS) through a back injury."

For those who struggle daily with the disease, Rep. Waxman's statement is anything but humorous. Ms. Elaine Gayle, a woman from Atlanta diagnosed with RLS said, "Restless Leg Syndrome definitely does exist. My sister has it so bad that she sometimes has to stop her car just to walk around and move her legs. When you have RLS, you just can't keep your legs still. At night it's a problem as well. Someone like Rep. Waxman dismissing it is simply a shame."

Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., the founder and director of The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic, said, "Some people just don't understand how devastating and real RLS is until they have it themselves. Rep. Waxman's comments are a sign of how people continue to underestimate how great an effect a sleep disorder can have on your well-being."

Dr. Michael Lacey, a board certified sleep doctor who treated Gayle, agrees, "Rep. Waxman's interview is an excellent example of the dismissive nature with which truly disabling sleep disorders have been treated all too often by the uninformed, leading to patients bei
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