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Keywords:

  • restless legs syndrome;
  • pathophysiology;
  • cerebrospinal fluid;
  • dopamine;
  • serotonin

Abstract

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood obtained from 22 untreated or scarcely treated patients with moderate to severe restless legs syndrome (RLS; mean age, 58.6 ± 13 years) and 11 control subjects (mean age, 56.6 ± 12.9 years) were investigated for biogenic amines between 6:00 and 8:00 PM. We did not find any significant differences in the CSF concentrations of homovanillic acid, 3-ortho- methyl-dopa, levodopa, 5-hydroxytryptophan, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, tetrahydrobiopterin, dihydrobiopterin, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, and neopterin. In addition, serotonin in whole blood and plasma activity of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase were all normal. Our results suggest that dopaminergic and serotonergic release is not substantially affected in RLS. © 2003 Movement Disorder Society