Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pregnancy is a risk factor for restless legs syndrome

28.09.2004


Pregnant women are at higher risk for the occurrence or worsening of restless legs syndrome (RLS), a movement disorder that affects up to 10 percent of the general population, according to a study reported in the September 28 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.



Researchers in Milan, Italy, recently concluded a large and detailed epidemiological study on RLS during pregnancy and six months postpartum that demonstrates at least one in four pregnant women experience RLS. RLS is characterized by an urge to move the legs, generally accompanied by unpleasant numbness, tingling, or burning sensations; an increase in symptoms during rest and a partial, temporary relief from symptoms through activity; and a worsening of symptoms in the evening or at night. Symptoms tend to progress with age.

The association between RLS and pregnancy was noted first in 1940, and confirmed later by a few epidemiological investigations. "While several attempts have been made to study the connection between pregnancy and RLS, ours is the first epidemiological study to use the four standard International RLS committee diagnostic criteria," noted Mauro Manconi, MD, of the Sleep Disorders Center at Vita-Salute University, Milan.


A total of 606 women, admitted to the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Ferrara University between February and June 2002, were included in the study. Two neurologists certified in sleep medicine interviewed the women within two days of delivery, and those affected by RLS were interviewed again at the end of the first, third, and sixth month after delivery. The initial interview included demographic data, personal and family medical history, course of pregnancy, physical measurements of mother and newborn, iron and folate therapy, sleep habits, and presence of sleep disorders. A detailed description of RLS symptoms, if present during and before pregnancy, was also evaluated. A woman was considered affected by RLS if she met all four International RLS Study Group criteria.

Of the 606 women in the study, 161 (26.6 percent) reported the occurrence of RLS, 101 of whom reported experiencing RLS for the first time. One-fourth of the women experienced RLS symptoms at least once a week, and 15 percent at least three times a week. The appearance or worsening of RLS symptoms was generally around the sixth month, reaching a peak at the seventh and eighth months of pregnancy. RLS prevalence dramatically decreased around the time of delivery, ranging between five and six percent at six months postpartum.

RLS symptoms had a significant impact on sleep, with affected women reporting a reduced total sleep time, longer sleep latency, and more frequent insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness compared to non-affected women. "The pregnant women most affected by RLS were older, had lower values of iron storage indicators, a higher prevalence of insomnia, and snored more than the unaffected group," commented Manconi. However he also said, "Our results on a significant difference in iron storage indicators support a hypothesis that a relative iron deficit could play a role in this form of RLS, though the rapid improvement of RLS symptoms after delivery give more power to a hormonal rather than iron-related hypothesis."

Even if the real cause of the association between RLS and pregnancy remains unclear, this study is the first to show a significant correlation between low iron indicators values and the risk to develop RLS. Further investigations are needed to evaluate the role of hormonal state and of personal genetic background predisposition in the cause of this temporary state of RLS.

Marilee Reu | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aan.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>