RLS Runs in the Family

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0,0

RLS Runs in theFamily

A study on restless leg syndrome (RLS)sheds new light on this

common genetic disorder. Theresearchers found that the relatives

of patients with restless legs andthe patients themselves began to

develop the symptoms at the sameage. For the relatives, the syndrome

lasted an average of 18 years, saidWayne A. Hening, MD,

PhD, who presented the study'sfindings at the recent Annual Meeting

of the Society of Neuroscience.

In the study, 484 individuals in thefamilies of 55 RLS patients

and 32 control patients werediagnosed by Dr. Hening, who did not

know the identity of their familiesor the patients' diagnosis. Another

expert reviewed the diagnosis,determining symptom character,

measures of severity, age of onset,and persistence of the disorder.

For the comparison, family memberswere divided into 3

groups. First- and second-degreerelatives of RLS patients and

first-degree relatives of controlpatients (n = 66, n = 37, n = 10,

respectively) were compared with theRLS patients (n = 52). The

results showed that 11% of thepatients reported painful symptoms,

compared with 25%, 19%, and 30% ofrelatives, respectively.

Also, 92% of the patients had dailysymptoms, compared with

11%, 19%, and 20% of relatives.