Could Restless Leg Point To Troubled Heart?


Could Restless Leg Point To Troubled Heart?

According to press reports, actor Kevin Dobson Reveals Long Battle with Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome

“I was functioning on two or three hours of sleep,” said Dobson, perhaps best known for his role as assistant district attorney Bobby Crocker on the TV show “Kojack.”

“I wondered how I was going to get the energy to perform the next day” he said.

Dobson could feel his leg slightly twitching at random moments through the night. The intensity of the twitching grew over time, and the only relief, he said, was to get up and walk around.

“It’s painful, and the hard part is that it lasts for a moment,” said Dobson. “It’s a little twitch here and there and then it gets to the point where it’s uncontrollable.”

Not only did the twitching keep Dobson awake, it affected his wife Susan.

It wasn’t until a decade later that Dobson, during a routine physical exam, told his doctor about his symptoms.

“He knew right away that it was restless leg syndrome,” said Dobson, who was then prescribed medication to relieve his symptoms. “I wished I would’ve told him sooner.”

Restless leg syndrome, characterized by incessant leg twitching during the night, affects nearly 12 million Americans and is responsible for nearly one-third of insomnia cases, according to the Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation.

While it’s unclear what causes the condition, preliminary new evidence suggests that some who suffer from restless leg syndrome are more likely to suffer left ventricular hypertrophy, a hardening of the heart muscles that more than doubles the risk of having a heart attack.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic conducted an overnight sleep study on 584 patients who were diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome. Those who moved their legs more frequently while asleep were more likely to be older, male and to suffer from heart disease.

The findings were presented Monday at the American College of Cardiology’s 60th annual scientific session. The study adds to mounting evidence that getting less sleep can increase your risk for heart troubles, said Dr. Arshad Jahangir, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and lead researcher of the study.

Restless Legs Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Linked Says Study


Restless Legs Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Linked Says Study Published in the October issue of the ‘Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

MoneyTimes has reported that a new study of people suffering from fibromyalgia are also more prone to restless legs syndrome (RLS) especially at night. An evaluation of sleep disturbance using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Insomnia Severity Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale showed that problems with sleeping were far more severe among people with fibromyalgia and RLS.

According tp thje repot, the study conducted by Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, associate professor of neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle stated, “Sleep disruption is common in fibromyalgia, and often difficult to treat. It is apparent from our study that a substantial portion of sleep disruption in fibromyalgia is due to restless legs syndrome.”

The report als reflected that researchers compared 172 people with fibromyalgia with 63 healthy controls.

Adfditional details of the report reflected that more than 90 percent of the patients were women with an average age of 50 years.

In contrast, the control group was younger, with an average age of 41 years and included 56 percent women.

In addition, 57 percent of the fibromyalgia patients were married as opposed to only one-third of controls. Only 29 percent of patients were employed compared with 73 percent of those who were healthy.

Fibromyalgia was identified either by self-report or a review of participants’ medical records.

RLS was diagnosed with the help of a self-administered validated questionnaire that required patients to meet certain criteria.

These included the presence of recurrent, uncomfortable sensations in the legs while sitting or lying down, discomfort that was worse when resting, discomfort that improved with walking, and discomfort that was worse in the evening or at night.

Revelations of the study
After taking into account factors such as age and sex, it was noted that adults with fibromyalgia are 11 times more likely to suffer from restless leg syndrome.

The prevalence of RLS was 33 percent in the fibromyalgia group compared to 3.1 percent in the group of healthy controls.

An evaluation of sleep disturbance using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Insomnia Severity Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale showed that problems with sleeping were far more severe among people with fibromyalgia and RLS.

Implications of the study
According to experts, since a substantial portion of sleep disturbance found in patients with fibromyalgia may be due to RLS, it would be prudent for doctors to ask people suffering from the disease about symptoms of RLS.

There are several life style treatments for restless leg syndrome that can improve their sleep and quality of life.

“Since restless legs syndrome is a treatable condition, diagnosing and treating RLS in fibromyalgia patients has the potential to improve their sleep,” said Watson.