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Motor performance in patients with restless legs syndrome

Authors


  • Potential conflict of interest: None.

Abstract

Dopaminergic dysfunction could play a role in restless legs syndrome, and patients with central dopaminergic dysfunction exhibit difficulties in performing alternating movements or in the movement initiation. Therefore, we analyzed basic motor function performance in patients with idiopathic restless legs syndrome and in healthy matched controls. We studied 50 patients diagnosed with restless legs syndrome and 100 age and sex matched controls. Evaluation included four timed tests (pronation–supination, finger tapping and movement between two points with both hands, and walking test); and three tests performed on a personal computer (speed for pressing repetitively a key frequency, simple reaction time, and movement time with both hands). In a univariate study, restless legs patients showed lower mean values for right pronation–supination, minimum value for right frequency and movement time, and standard deviation, maximum and rank values of movement time with the left arm; and higher mean values for left finger tapping, right and left movement between two points, and standard deviation and rank for right and left frequency. With a multivariate study, restless legs patients showed significantly lower mean values for right pronation–supination, minimum right movement time, and rank of left movement time; and higher mean values for left finger tapping and movement between two points, and rank of right frequency. Motor performance of patients with restless legs syndrome is similar to that of healthy matched controls with the exception of impaired left finger tapping and movement between two points, and better performance of right pronation–supination movements. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society

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