Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Sleep Med Rev. 2012 Aug;16(4):341-54. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2011.09.003. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Restless legs syndrome--theoretical roles of inflammatory and immune mechanisms.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Abstract

Theories for restless legs syndrome (RLS) pathogenesis include iron deficiency, dopamine dysregulation and peripheral neuropathy. Increased prevalence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in controlled studies in RLS and case reports of post-infectious RLS suggest potential roles for inflammation and immunological alterations. A literature search for all conditions associated with RLS was performed. These included secondary RLS disorders and factors that may exacerbate RLS. All of these conditions were reviewed with respect to potential pathogenesis including reports of iron deficiency, neuropathy, SIBO, inflammation and immune changes. A condition was defined as highly-associated if there was a prevalence study that utilized an appropriate control group. Small case reports were recorded but not included as definite RLS-associated conditions. Fifty four diseases, syndromes and conditions have been reported to cause and/or exacerbate RLS. Of these, 38 have been reported to have a higher prevalence than age-matched controls, 9 have adequate sized reports and have general acceptance as RLS-associated conditions and 7 have been reported in case report form. Overall, 42 of the 47 RLS-associated conditions (89%) have also been associated with inflammatory and/or immune changes. In addition, 43% have been associated with peripheral iron deficiency, 40% with peripheral neuropathy and 32% with SIBO. Most of the remaining conditions have yet to be studied for these factors. The fact that 95% of the 38 highly-associated RLS conditions are also associated with inflammatory/immune changes suggests the possibility that RLS may be mediated or affected through these mechanisms. Inflammation can be responsible for iron deficiency and hypothetically could cause central nervous system iron deficiency-induced RLS. Alternatively, an immune reaction to gastrointestinal bacteria or other antigens may hypothetically cause RLS by a direct immunological attack on the central or peripheral nervous system.

PMID:
22258033
DOI:
10.1016/j.smrv.2011.09.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center