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Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome 

Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome
Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome
Non-motor Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease (2 ed.)

William G. Ondo


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a complex neurodegenerative disorder. Although clinically defined by rigidity, bradykinesia and tremor, numerous sensory, sleep symptoms and other non-motor symptoms are commonly reported. Some of these symptoms are likely to result from dopamine cell loss. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) and PD both respond to dopaminergic treatments, both show some dopaminergic abnormalities on functional imaging and are both variably associated with periodic limb movements in sleep. Therefore, a relationship between the two conditions has long been sought, but earlier results were mixed. Prior to the development of current RLS criteria, some studies, but not others, reported a higher prevalence of RLS in patients with PD. Diagnostic inconsistency makes these reports difficult to interpret. Most reports employing current criteria do suggest that PD patients have higher rates of RLS than the general population, but clear pathophysiological connections are lacking.

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