Restless legs syndrome in women with comorbid psychiatric disease

Abha Patel, Safia S. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a relatively common sleep disorder that affects many patients with psychiatric co-morbidities. Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, RLS is a neurologic sensorimo-tor disorder that was initially described in the 17th century. It is defined by four clinical features outlined by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group, including (1) an urge to move typically associated with an abnormal sensation in the legs, (2) symptoms that occur at rest or are worsened by rest, (3) symptoms relieved by movement, and (4) symptoms that are more severe at night. Although the exact etiology of primary RLS is not known, current evidence suggests that RLS is related to decreased activity of dopaminergic function in specific central nervous system pathways. RLS can be triggered or exacerbated by a multitude of factors, including iron deficiency, uremia, pregnancy, heredity, caffeine use, alcohol use, smoking, nicotine use, and medications. Patients with psychiatric disease can have comorbid substance abuse and often are on medications that exac- erbate RLS symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-517
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatric Annals
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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