Navigation Links
Restless Legs Syndrome Can Have Family Ties

Risk rises if parent, sibling has the movement disorder, study shows

MONDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Siblings and family members of people who have restless legs syndrome are also more likely to suffer from the condition, a new report suggests.

The authors of the study, which is published in the May issue of Archives of Neurology, hope the findings will raise awareness of the condition for both physicians and patients.

"These authors found very stark significant evidence that if you have a sibling or a family member with restless legs syndrome, you have a very high risk of having it," said Dr. Carl Boethel, assistant professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and medical director of the Sleep Institute at Scott & White in Temple, Texas.

That means if you have a family member and, particularly, a sibling with restless legs syndrome, or RLS, you might want to get screened, he said.

Fortunately, said study senior author Dr. Guy A. Rouleau, professor of medicine at the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada, "many treatments are available for this disease. No one needs to suffer from this without treatment."

Iron deficiency, for instance, can trigger the syndrome, he said. "Treat it with iron and it goes away," Rouleau said. "If it doesn't go away, the same drugs for Parkinson's actually work very well for restless legs syndrome."

Although experts have long seen a familial connection with RLS, there haven't been any really rigorous studies on the subject, nor have there been good descriptions of the symptoms, the authors stated.

"Restless legs syndrome is a very common disorder. Up to 10 percent of individuals have it and, in surveys, the vast majority of people are undiagnosed," said Rouleau.

Although many tend to dismiss the syndrome, symptoms actually can become quite severe, Rouleau said.

"They're called nightwalkers. What happens is that the symptoms get worse in evening and peak during the night, and the only way to relieve symptoms is to move," he explained. "Of course, moving and sleeping are not compatible so what happens is people don't sleep, they disturb the family, they have problems driving and working. People have committed suicide. It can be very disturbing in its severe forms."

The study involved 671 individuals who met the criteria for having RLS, including 192 individuals who had initially been evaluated at a sleep center and 479 of their family members who answered questions over the telephone.

Sisters or brothers of someone with RLS were 3.6 times more likely to also have the condition as compared to those who did not have a sibling with RLS.

Children of parents with RLS faced almost double the risk.

"Our study gives us a lot of information about how genetic RLS is, what are the chances of having it, what does the disease look like in people and in family members," Rouleau said. "It's a disorder that's not well known or understood but it's very common. The main gist of the study was to get a very clear vision of what this disease is and what are the effects on people."

Scientists now need to start teasing out how much of RLS is environmental and how much genetic, the authors concluded.

More information

There's more on this condition at the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation.

SOURCES: Guy A. Rouleau, M.D., Ph.D., professor, medicine, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Carl Boethel, M.D., assistant professor, internal medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and medical director, Sleep Institute, Scott & White, Temple, Texas; May 2010, Archives of Neurology

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Study links restless leg syndrome with erectile dysfunction in older men
2. NxStage Announces New FREEDOM Data Showing the Positive Impact of its Daily Home Hemodialysis Therapy on Sleep Quality and Restless Legs Syndrome
3. Restless Josie, an Internet Adventure Travel Show, Empowers and Enlightens!
4. How to Say Goodbye to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) With the Click of a Button - A New Way to Avoid PMS
5. Bacterial phylotype alterations in irritable bowel syndrome
6. Superior mesenteric artery syndrome in a diabetic patient
7. Researchers ID traits of people with rare accelerated aging syndrome
8. U.S. Records Increase in Kids With Down Syndrome
9. St. Johns wort not helpful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, Mayo Clinic researchers say
10. Flat Head Syndrome Linked to Developmental Delays
11. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-Virus Link Questioned
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more ... these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort ... holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain ... Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned ... receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and ... by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an ... Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile ... orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for ... $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same ... wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 According to a new ... Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, ... Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global ... the market for the forecast period of 2016 to ... Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... KNOXVILLE, Tenn. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal ... million in funding.  The Series-A funding is led ... the Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, ... less-invasive neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... faced the many challenges of the current process. Many of ... option because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs ... would have to offer it at such a high cost ... to afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: