HSPers more susceptible to Restless Legs Syndrome

Posted - March 2007 in Living with HSP - Management & Treatment News

A German study has found evidence that people with HSP are particularly susceptible to develop Restless Legs Syndrome.

This study was designed to investigate the prevalence and determinants of the association of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and hereditary spastic paraparesis (HSP).  132 patients with HSP were evaluated for the symptoms of RLS by a standardised questionnaire.  RLS was presumed when patients met the four essential criteria of RLS defined by the International RLS Study Group.

In addition, they 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 of developing RLS did not increase with age.

Age at onset of HSP symptoms in the HSP group with RLS was 27.7 (+/- 12.6 years) and the HSP group without RLS 37.0 (+/- 16.9 years) differed significantly.  Most of the patients with RLS showed a moderate or severe grade on the RLS severity score.  Only 8 patients had previously been diagnosed to have RLS and were on medication.

The data provides evidence that patients with HSP are particularly susceptible to developing RLS.  Consequently, special emphasis should be put on the diagnosis criteria of RLS in HSP patients.

SOURCE:  Eur Neurol, November 14, 2006; 57(1): 31-35.

Restless Legs Syndrome in Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis.

Anne-Dorte Sperfeld, Alexander Unrath, and Jan Kassubek

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