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Sleep. 1996 Apr;19(3):196-9.

Persistence of repetitive EEG arousals (K-alpha complexes) in RLS patients treated with L-DOPA.

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Centre d'étude du sommeil, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur, Québec, Canada.


Compared to normal control subjects, patients with primary restless legs syndrome (RLS) have an increased number of K-complexes, followed by bursts of electroencephalographic (EEG) alpha activity-together these are referred to as K-alpha complexes. In the present study, a large proportion of K-alpha complexes was found to be temporally associated with periodic leg movements in sleep. Because many K-alpha complexes precede the onset of movements, they cannot be considered secondary to the movements themselves. The persistence of K-alpha complexes after suppression of leg movements by means of L-DOPA further supports the hypothesis that these EEG events are a primary phenomenon. The results may have clinical implications because a large proportion of RLS patients complain of non-restorative sleep even after treatment with L-DOPA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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