Glossary

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

is a disease of unknown etiology. Often people describe this disorder with unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move at rest. People also complain of pain, pressure on the limbs, having creeping, burning sensation or “ants in pants” sensation. These sensations can be on one side or it may affect both legs at the same time. These symptoms may be experienced in the upper limbs as well. These sensations vary from uncomfortable to irritating to painful. These symptoms are most distinctive when people trying to relax and has activates the symptoms. People with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep which leads to sleepiness, exhaustion and daytime fatigue. They are often unable to concentrate, have impaired memory, or fail to accomplish daily tasks. It occurs in both genders but the rate is slightly higher in woman.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)

is characterized by involuntary leg twitching or jerking movements during sleep. These leg movements are 0.5 to 5 seconds in duration. Typically it occurs every 10 to 60 seconds, sometimes throughout the night. The symptoms cause repeated awakenings and severe disruption of sleep. The movements are involuntary. This phenomenon may be a consequence of low back problems, nervous system disorders, thyroid disorders, iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies. Some antidepressants exacerbate PLMS.

PLMS can cause non-restorative sleep, insomnia, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, irritability, mood disorders, as well as disturbance in concentration and memory. An overnight sleep study will help to diagnose the condition and provide a measure of severity of the disease. This helps to plan treatment which is usually successful but not always with the first trial of treatment.

 
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