Medscape: More data support the concept of stroke-related restless legs syndrome as an “emerging entity,” investigators report in a new study.

New research has identified the lenticulostriate and ventral brainstem as the main regions implicated in stroke-related restless leg syndrome (s-RLS). Researchers also observed dopaminergic dysfunction in patients with sRLS.

“Clinicians should be aware of sRLS characteristics for appropriate diagnosis,” especially since “efficient treatments are available to relieve patients’ symptoms,” write the authors, led by Elisabeth Ruppert, MD, Department of Neurology, Sleep, and Electrophysiology Clinic, University Hospital of Strasbourg, France.

The study was published online in the European Journal of Neurology.

A common neurologic condition, RLS is characterized by an irresistible urge to move the lower limbs, they note. Symptoms are improved by movement and worsened at rest and in the evening.

Research shows RLS decreases quality of life, and severe forms can be debilitating and increase mortality.

The authors characterize what they call “the emerging entity of sRLS” in a series of 16 patients — eight men and eight women aged 41 to 81 years. These patients were hospitalized at the Stroke Unit of the University Hospital of Strasbourg and diagnosed with either de novo RLS (12 patients) or clear exacerbation of past RLS.

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