Treatment of restless legs syndrome

Written by: Dr. Diego García-Borreguero Díaz-Varela
Edited by: Top Doctors®


What is restless leg syndrome? What causes symptoms?

One in four patients who go to a sleep unit for chronic insomnia problems, which is in the background behind the chronic insomnia is a neurological condition called restless legs syndrome. This disease, which is usually transmitted genetic way between members of the same family, is manifested in the form of an urgent need for movement, especially the bottom of the legs, at night and in situations of immobility. The end result of having this disease, you have these symptoms, is that the affected person has to keep moving at night, rubbing his legs, giving massages, and as a result of all this can not sleep, can not stay asleep. It is a disease that occurs very often, it is between 2% and 3% of the population in Western countries. But it is a disease that usually attends chronically.


Does restless leg syndrome has no cure?

As a result, the person suffering from this disease usually requires chronic treatment, indefinite. The question we ask is to what extent this disease is curable, in the strict sense of the word, that is, a medical intervention to remove the rest of the life of the person concerned, to eliminate these symptoms and as a result no to do nothing. The problem of this disease is that storage brain, brain iron stores are decreased, for reasons to explain long. So that if we were able to provide enough iron in a given these people time and normalize these brain deposits of iron, what we will achieve with this is that the symptoms disappear.


How the administration of intravenous iron works?

Recent studies in the US have shown that administration of intravenous iron allows 30% of patients symptoms completely disappear for up to three years. In an additional 20% of patients they do not disappear, but they are weakened substantially, so that the dose of drug required is much lower. In all, up to 50% of cases a substantial improvement of the disease is achieved. In the Sleep Research Institute in Madrid we are doing a worldwide study in which we are testing this hypothesis and we will see to what extent patients with severe RLS respond and cured under this treatment.


Testimony of patient

With 18 or 20 years I began with the first symptoms of restless legs syndrome, but it was not until my first daughter was born ten years ago, in which I was cronificaron symptoms. I went to see Dr. Garcia Borreguero and then I was diagnosed with restless legs syndrome, I put a treatment, the symptoms eased a bit but every night appeared when sit on the couch. When the doctor suggested I undergo intravenous iron treatment did not hesitate at any time. You had to explore that possibility. They were two infusions of iron and then I gradually withdrew medication. At first it was hard, all the hassles of sharpened legs and at first to sit on the couch was permanently aware of them. But gradually they began to fade and today is the day that I do not think either my legs or the SPI to sit on the couch, watching movies in a long desk, or on a journey of hours in the car or By plane. Thanks to the Sleep Research Institute healed and I am delighted to life.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Diego García-Borreguero Díaz-Varela

International reference in Movement Disorders during sleep, Dr. Garcia-Borreguero is a neurologist expert and specializes in sleep disorders psychiatrist. With over 20 years of experience, currently coordinates the multidisciplinary team at the Institute of Sueno, reference center for research, disclosure and treatment of various pathologies of sleep. Author of more than 100 international publications, teaches and lectures in Europe, USA and Asia, also is one of the opinion leaders of the movement disorders during sleep.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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