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 Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>