Addressing research needs identified in this FRN project will help create a broader and stronger evidence base in which clinical decisions can be made. Future research addressing specific research questions is likely to establish a preliminary research agenda on this topic. The highest priority research needs are summarized below:

  • What is the sensitivity and specificity of RLS diagnostic tools?
  • What are the minimum important differences in RLS outcome measures? Specifically:
    • What IRLS scale scores (or changes in scores) translate to clinically meaningful improvement to assess for treatment effectiveness?
    • Is there a correlation between change in IRLS scale scores and clinically important change in Clinical Global Impression-if so what are those values?
    • What is the correlation of polysomnography outcomes to remission of symptoms?
    • What are the minimum outcomes to be reported?
    • What are the proportions of patients with remission of symptoms (IRLS score = 0), patient reported sleep outcomes, quality of life, etc.?
  • What environmental factors are associated with RLS?
    • Is there a geographic/environmental predictor?
  • What genetic linkages and biomarkers are associated with, diagnostic of, or causally linked to RLS?
  • Is RLS associated with cardiovascular disease and other health conditions-in particular what is the effect of RLS-related chronic sleep deprivation on cardiovascular health?
  • What are the short- and long-term comparative effectiveness and harms of treatments for RLS?
  • Does tolerance/effectiveness of treatment for RLS vary by demographic/clinical/genetic factors?