Clinical Neuroscience

[Pathophysiology of restless leg syndrome and periodic leg movement disorder in view of the latest research findings]


MAY 10, 2005

Clinical Neuroscience - 2005;58(05-06)

[Both restless leg syndrome and periodic leg movement disorder have been classified as primary sleep disorders by the International Classification of Sleep Disorders. Considering the characteristic clinical symptoms, it is supposed that their pathomechanism involves the peripheral and central stimulusprocessing mechanisms of the nervous system as well as several elements of the motor system. During the last couple of years many new elements of the pathomechanism have been discovered, in particular the dysfunction of the postsynaptic dopamin receptors related to the iron metabolism of the central nervous system, the role of opiate receptors, and the involvement of subclinical small fiber neuropathy. Many of these findings have been incorporated into the diagnostic and treatment protocols used in the management of patients with restless leg syndrome or periodic leg movement disorder. Considering the rapidly increasing number of publications on their pathomechanism and the various fields it involves, the authors found it necessary to evaluate these data and to interpret their relationships within the frame of sleep-wake regulation.]


  1. Magyar Honvédség Központi Honvédkórház, NeurológiaI Osztály, Alvásdiagnosztikai és Terápiás Központ, Budapest



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