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Sleep Med. 2009 May;10(5):586-91. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2008.04.008. Epub 2008 Aug 26.

Two early descriptions of restless legs syndrome and periodic leg movements by Boissier de Sauvages (1763) and Gilles de la Tourette (1898).

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  • 1Unité des pathologies du sommeil and Pierre and Marie Curie University, Hopital Pitié-Salpetrière, APHP, Paris, France.


Boissier de Sauvages de La Croix and Gilles de la Tourette, French neurologists, noticed that patients with "anxiety in the lower limbs, shooting pain, tingling legs" may have an insomnia "at the time of wake-sleep transition [and] experience sudden jerks in the lower limbs." Their descriptions confirm that the clinical features of RLS were previously described in French literature in the 18th century.

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