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The biopsychosocial effects of restless legs syndrome (RLS)

Authors Philip M Becker

Published 15 December 2006 Volume 2006:2(4) Pages 505—512


Philip M Becker

Sleep Medicine Associates of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA

Abstract: The symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS) are associated with reductions in patients’ quality of life (QoL) and mental heath. Sleep disturbance, which is often the most troublesome symptom of RLS, may have a negative impact on patients’ daytime cognitive abilities. Research has established a relationship between the symptoms of RLS and mood symptoms, but causality is unclear. Some studies have indicated that the symptoms of RLS precede those of depression or anxiety, and others relate the severity of mood symptoms to the severity of RLS symptoms. Associations between the sleep disturbance produced by RLS and patients’ mood symptoms have also been demonstrated. The impact of RLS symptoms and their treatment on QoL, mental health, and cognition are reviewed herein.

Keywords: RLS, depression, anxiety, quality of life, treatment

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