Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People with Parkinson's disease more likely to have leg restlessness than restless leg syndrome

Date:
November 10, 2011
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
People with Parkinson's disease may be more likely to have a movement disorder called leg motor restlessness, but not true restless legs syndrome as previous studies have suggested, according to a new study.

People with Parkinson's disease may be more likely to have a movement disorder called leg motor restlessness, but not true restless legs syndrome as previous studies have suggested, according to a study published in the Nov. 9, 2011, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Related Articles


Restless legs syndrome is a sleep and movement disorder. People with the disorder have the urge to move their legs to stop uncomfortable sensations. The urge occurs when the person is at rest, in the evening, and is temporarily relieved by movement. In leg motor restlessness, people also have the urge to move their legs, but it is either not worse when they are at rest or during the evening or it does not go away when they move their legs.

Because restless legs syndrome and Parkinson's disease both respond to the drug dopamine, researchers have looked for connections between the two disorders. Some studies have shown that people with Parkinson's disease are more likely also to have restless legs syndrome than people who don't have Parkinson's disease. But those studies have looked at people with advanced cases of Parkinson's who have taken dopamine drugs for many years.

The current study is the first to look at the issue in people who were recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and have not yet taken any dopamine drugs. The Norwegian study compared 200 people with early Parkinson's disease to 173 people of similar ages who did not have Parkinson's disease.

The study found that restless legs syndrome was not significantly more common in people with Parkinson's disease than it was in those without the disease. But people with Parkinson's were nearly three times more likely to have leg motor restlessness than those without Parkinson's. A total of 26 people with Parkinson's disease and 10 people without the disease had leg motor restlessness.

"This finding could possibly be because people who have not yet taken dopamine for their Parkinson's disease have a dopamine deficiency in their brains, which is similar to when people develop motor restlessness after taking antipsychotic drugs that block dopamine in the brain," said study author Michaela D. Gjerstad, PhD, of Stavanger University Hospital in Norway and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

John Morgan, MD, PhD, of Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, who wrote an editorial regarding the study, said, "Time will tell whether the majority of these people with leg motor restlessness will go on to develop restless legs syndrome, or whether the restlessness improves after they start taking dopamine drugs. Further study of this group of people will be quite interesting."

The study was supported by the Western Norwegian Regional Health Authority, the Norwegian Parkinson Disease Association and the Research Council of Norway.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. D. Gjerstad, O. B. Tysnes, J. P. Larsen. Increased risk of leg motor restlessness but not RLS in early Parkinson disease. Neurology, 2011; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31823a0cc8

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "People with Parkinson's disease more likely to have leg restlessness than restless leg syndrome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111109161246.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2011, November 10). People with Parkinson's disease more likely to have leg restlessness than restless leg syndrome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111109161246.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "People with Parkinson's disease more likely to have leg restlessness than restless leg syndrome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111109161246.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins