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News2007August › Restless Leg Syndrome: It's all in the genes (and it could affect up to half of us) › August 2007

Restless Leg Syndrome: It's all in the genes (and it could affect up to half of us)

Do you suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS)? Worse, are you married to someone who does? Well, don't blame them - it's all down to their genes

Do you suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS)? Worse, are you married to someone who does? Well, don't blame them - it's all down to their genes.

RLS was first described around 350 years ago, and all that time on it's still considered by some as "the most common disorder you have never heard of".

Critics deny it even exists, others claim that it is nothing more than a reaction to a pharmaceutical drug, which doesn't explain the cases from 350 years ago.

Researchers from Reykjavik, Iceland, confirm that the syndrome is a very real problem - and one that affects them and their partners while they sleep at night.

The research team reckons that the problem is genetic, and it could be far more common than we think. In fact, they estimate that up to half the population could be susceptible to some involuntary movement of the limbs some time or another, so that suggests there are other reasons why some of us suffer from full-blown RLS.

(Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2007; 357: 639-47).

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