Items in AFP with MESH term: Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome - Article

ABSTRACT: Restless legs syndrome is a common neurologic movement disorder that affects approximately 10 percent of adults. Of those affected with this condition, approximately one third have symptoms severe enough to require medical therapy. Restless legs syndrome may be a primary condition, or it may be secondary to iron deficiency, renal failure, pregnancy, or the use of certain medications. The diagnosis is clinical, requiring an urge to move the legs usually accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation, occurrence at rest, improvement with activity, and worsening of symptoms in the evening or at night. Restless legs syndrome causes sleep disturbances, is associated with anxiety and depression, and has a negative effect on quality of life. Treatment of secondary causes of restless legs syndrome may result in improvement or resolution of symptoms. Currently, there is little information regarding the effects of lifestyle changes on the symptoms of restless legs syndrome. If medications are needed, dopamine agonists are the primary medications for moderate to severe restless legs syndrome. Other medications that may be effective include gabapentin, carbidopa/levodopa, opioids, and benzodiazepines.


The Empty Chair - Close-ups


Chronic Insomnia: A Practical Review - Article

ABSTRACT: Insomnia has numerous, often concurrent etiologies, including medical conditions, medications, psychiatric disorders and poor sleep hygiene. In the elderly, insomnia is complex and often difficult to relieve because the physiologic parameters of sleep normally change with age. In most cases, however, a practical management approach is to first consider depression, medications, or both, as potential causes. Sleep apnea also should be considered in the differential assessment. Regardless of the cause of insomnia, most patients benefit from behavioral approaches that focus on good sleep habits. Exposure to bright light at appropriate times can help realign the circadian rhythm in patients whose sleep-wake cycle has shifted to undesirable times. Periodic limb movements during sleep are very common in the elderly and may merit treatment if the movements cause frequent arousals from sleep. When medication is deemed necessary for relief of insomnia, a low-dose sedating antidepressant or a nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytic may offer advantages over traditional sedative-hypnotics. Longterm use of long-acting benzodiazepines should, in particular, be avoided. Melatonin may be helpful when insomnia is related to shift work and jet lag; however, its use remains controversial.


Getting the Facts on Restless Legs - Editorials


Nocturnal Leg Cramps - Article

ABSTRACT: Up to 60 percent of adults report that they have had nocturnal leg cramps. The recurrent, painful tightening usually occurs in the calf muscles and can cause severe insomnia. The exact mechanism is unknown, but the cramps are probably caused by muscle fatigue and nerve dysfunction rather than electrolyte or other abnormalities. Nocturnal leg cramps are associated with vascular disease, lumbar canal stenosis, cirrhosis, hemodialysis, pregnancy, and other medical conditions. Medications that are strongly associated with leg cramps include intravenous iron sucrose, conjugated estrogens, raloxifene, naproxen, and teriparatide. A history and physical examination are usually sufficient to differentiate nocturnal leg cramps from other conditions, such as restless legs syndrome, claudication, myositis, and peripheral neuropathy. Laboratory evaluation and specialized testing usually are unnecessary to confirm the diagnosis. Limited evidence supports treating nocturnal leg cramps with exercise and stretching, or with medications such as magnesium, calcium channel blockers, carisoprodol, or vitamin B12. Quinine is no longer recommended to treat leg cramps.


Management of Common Sleep Disorders - Article

ABSTRACT: Sleep disorders are common and affect sleep quality and quantity, leading to increased morbidity. Patients with sleep disorders can be categorized as those who cannot sleep, those who will not sleep, those with excessive daytime sleepiness, and those with increased movements during sleep. Insomnia, defined as difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep that results in daytime impairment, is diagnosed using history findings and treated with cognitive behavior therapy, with or without sleep hypnotics. Restless legs syndrome is characterized by an urge to move the legs that worsens with rest, is relieved by movement, and often occurs in the evening or at night. Restless legs syndrome is treated based on the frequency of symptoms. Narcolepsy is characterized by excessive sleepiness, cataplexy, hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations, and sleep paralysis. It is diagnosed using a sleep log or actigraphy, followed by overnight polysomnography and a multiple sleep latency test. Narcolepsy is treated with stimulants, such as modafinil; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; or gamma hydroxybutyric acid (sodium oxybate). Patients with snoring and witnessed apneas may have obstructive sleep apnea, which is diagnosed using overnight polysomnography. Continuous positive airway pressure is the most common and effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder is characterized by increased muscle tone during rapid eye movement sleep, resulting in the patient acting out dreams with possible harmful consequences. It is diagnosed based on history and polysomnography findings, and treated with environmental safety measures and melatonin or clonazepam.



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