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Clinical significance of RLS



While the restless legs syndrome (RLS) may have been known in antiquity, it has only recently come to medical attention. Individuals with RLS fall along a spectrum from mild, infrequent symptoms to those with severe daily life-impairing discomforts and sleep disruption. These problems can cause impaired mood, daytime fatigue, cognitive difficulties, and inability to participate in a variety of quiet activities. This leads to a general reduction in quality of life similar to other significant psychiatric and medical disorders. Recent studies suggest that RLS may be a risk factor for developing both psychiatric disorders (such as major depression and anxiety) and somatic diseases (such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease). In dialysis patients, RLS has been found to be a risk factor for mortality. Therefore, those with RLS who have clinically significant symptoms suffer increased morbidity and are at risk for impaired long-term medical outcomes. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society