01. tbl. 98. árg. 2012

Restless legs syndrome – a review

Fótaóeirð – yfirlitsgrein

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common disorder with a prevalence between 10-20% in Iceland. There are two forms of RLS, idiopathic and secondary. Symptom onset of RLS before the age of 45 suggests an idiopathic form with no known underlying cause but inheritance. Symptom onset after age of 45 indicates a secondary form with an underlying cause without inheritance. Causes for secondary forms are for example: iron depletion, uraemia and polyneuropathy. Symptoms of RLS are uncomfortable and unpleasant deep sensations in the legs that are felt at rest, accompanied by an urge to move the legs, typically just before sleep. Accompanying RLS is a sleep disturbance that can lead to daytime somnolence, decreased quality of life, poor concentration, memory problems, depression and decreased energy. Dopamine agonists are currently the first line treatment for RLS.

Picture 1. Sir. Thomas Willis (1621-1675).

Picture 2. Karl-Axel Ekbom (1907-1977).


Table II. Essential and supportive criteria for restless legs syndrome

Table III. Differential diagnoses to restless legs syndrome

Table IV. Drugs used in treating restlegs legs syndrome


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