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Pregnancy-related hormonal changes linked to increased risk of restless legs syndrome
Date:2/1/2009

dic limb movements (PLMs) during sleep, which are involuntary jerking or twitching movements of the feet or legs.

According to the authors RLS symptoms often occur for the first time during pregnancy. Symptoms typically worsen during pregnancy and improve or even disappear after delivery. The risk of developing RLS increases gradually with the number of pregnancies.

The study also found that women with RLS had more PLMs than controls before and after delivery. PLMs decreased significantly after delivery in women with RLS and stayed low in women without RLS.

Only minor differences appeared between the two study groups in subjective sleep quality and objective sleep measures. One explanation suggested by the authors is that only RLS patients who did not need pharmacological treatment were selected for the study; RLS symptoms of participants were in the mild to moderate range.

The study involved nine healthy pregnant women (mean age 32.9 years) who were placed in a control group and 10 pregnant women (mean age 31.6 years) who fulfilled diagnostic criteria for RLS. Eight women from the RLS group reported symptoms previous to the present pregnancy, and all members of the RLS group described worsening of symptoms during pregnancy. The mean age of onset for RLS symptoms was 22.6 years.

Sleep data and leg movements were recorded during overnight polysomnography around the 36th week of gestation and again at 12 weeks postpartum. Blood samples were taken each morning after the polysomnography and before breakfast. Accompanying questionnaires on sleep and RLS symptoms also were collected.


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Contact: Kelly Wagner
kwagner@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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