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Eur Neurol. 2007;57(1):31-5. Epub 2006 Nov 14.

Restless legs syndrome in hereditary spastic paraparesis.

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Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.


This study was designed to investigate the prevalence and determinants of the association of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and hereditary spastic paraparesis (HSP). Therefore, 132 patients with HSP were evaluated concerning the symptoms of RLS by a standardized questionnaire. RLS was supposed when patients met all of the established four essential criteria of RLS defined by the International RLS Study Group. In addition, we studied the relationship between RLS and age at HSP symptom onset and evaluated the severity of RLS symptoms. Out of 59 responses, RLS was found in 27 HSP patients (15 male, 12 female) so that RLS was more frequent in the total HSP group (20.5%; 27/132) than in previous population-based studies (about 11%). In all 27 patients, the diagnosis of RLS was established based on an additional personal interview. The probability to develop RLS did not increase with higher age. Age at onset of HSP symptoms in the HSP group with RLS (27.7 +/- 12.6 years) and the HSP group without RLS (37.0 +/- 16.9 years) differed significantly (p = 0.04). Most of the patients with RLS showed a moderate and severe grade on the RLS severity score. Only 8 patients had previously been diagnosed to have RLS and were on medication. The data of this screening for RLS provided evidence that patients with HSP are particularly susceptible to develop RLS. Consequently, special emphasis should be put on the diagnosis criteria of RLS in HSP patients.

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