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Restless leg - La clinique du sommeil

Restless legs

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It is an unpleasant sensation, still very difficult to describe: tingling or throbbing or pain, always accompanied by a need to move. Two characters are typical: pain occurs preferably in the evening and night it is favored by immobility, and relieved, in part, by the movement.

The syndrome of restless legs often have a family character, usually unknown, it is readily attributed by mistake to circulatory problems, including venous circulation.


Description of unpleasant sensations in the calves, thighs or feet. Sometimes feelings can be even in the arms. 

Stinging, tingling, itching, pain, stretching, burning 

Appearance due to inactivity. The sensation typically begins after you have been lying or sitting for a long period of time, as in a cinema, car, plane.

Decreases the sensation you get up and move. People fight against the feeling of restless legs in a number of ways - by stretching, jiggling their legs, pacing in the exercise or walking. This overwhelming desire to move is what gives restless legs syndrome its name.

A worsening of symptoms in the evening. The symptoms are usually less bothersome during the day and are felt primarily at night.


Sometimes impatience syndrome of the lower limbs is embarrassing to constitute in itself the reason for consultation. Far more often, patients present with a sleep disorder, with difficulty falling or repeated awakenings during the night, which are not always made ​​in relation to the syndrome of restless legs.

Periodic movements during sleep are responsible for disorganization and fragmentation of sleep and cause poor quality sleep, and hence sometimes sleepiness during the day.


We know about 80% of people who have a syndrome of impatience lower limbs also have periodic limb movements during sleep, however we can observe periodic leg movements during sleep in the absence of impatience syndrome lower limbs, and only 30% of people who have periodic limb movements during sleep also impatience syndrome of the lower limbs.

The intimate mechanism of the disease is not known, but it seems to involve an insufficient nerve cells (neurons) using dopamine to transmit nerve signals from one neuron to another.

A relationship between iron deficiency and the disease has been highlighted. Syndrome impatience is also common in patients with renal insufficiency or diabetes.


When there is a deficiency in iron, ferric replenishment is often very effective.

Otherwise the treatment uses drugs that facilitate the transmission of nerve impulses between neurons using dopamine as a neurotransmitter.

Other drugs are also effective as Rivotril, Myrapex.



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