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Effects of periodic leg movements during sleep in middle-aged subjects without sleep complaints

Authors

  • Julie Carrier PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre du Sommeil et des Rythmes Biologiques, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Province of Quebec, Canada
    2. Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Province of Quebec, Canada
    3. Groupe de Recherche en Neuropsychologie Expérimentale, Province of Quebec, Canada
    • Centre d'étude du sommeil et des rythmes biologiques, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, 5400 boul. Gouin Ouest, Montréal, Qc, H4J 1C5 Canada
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  • Sonia Frenette MD,

    1. Centre du Sommeil et des Rythmes Biologiques, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Province of Quebec, Canada
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  • Jacques Montplaisir MD, PhD, CRCPc,

    1. Centre du Sommeil et des Rythmes Biologiques, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Province of Quebec, Canada
    2. Département de Psychiatrie, Université de Montréal, Province of Quebec, Canada
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  • Jean Paquet PhD,

    1. Centre du Sommeil et des Rythmes Biologiques, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Province of Quebec, Canada
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  • Caroline Drapeau BSc,

    1. Centre du Sommeil et des Rythmes Biologiques, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Province of Quebec, Canada
    2. Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Province of Quebec, Canada
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  • Jocelyn Morettini MPs

    1. Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Province of Quebec, Canada
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Abstract

Recent reports have called into question the relevance of periodic leg movements during sleep disorder (PLMSD) as a specific clinical entity. Because periodic leg movement in sleep index (PLMSI) increases with age, it has become an important exclusion criterion in research on aging. However, it is unknown if PLMSI is related to sleep quality in middle-aged subjects without sleep complaints. The sleep of 70 healthy, middle-aged subjects (age 40 to 60 years) without sleep complaints was evaluated. Subjects were divided into two groups according to their PLMSI severity: (1) 43 subjects (28 women, 15 men) were in the low PLMSI group (<5) and (2) 22 subjects (9 women, 13 men) were in the high PLMSI group (>10). A significantly higher proportion of men than women showed PLMSI greater than 5. There was no significant effect of PLMSI severity group for polysomnographic sleep parameters. PLMSI exerted a small but significant effect on subjective sleep quality, especially in middle-aged men. These results raise questions about the relevance of PLMSI as a pathological index for middle-aged subjects without sleep complaints and support the notion that an increase in PLMSI may be part of the normal process of aging associated with the loss of dopaminergic function. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society

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