Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Restless legs syndrome affects nearly 2 percent of U.S./U.K. children

24.08.2007
Restless legs syndrome is a common problem in children 8 years of age and older in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to a new report from an international team of researchers.

Nearly 2 percent of children aged 8 to 17 are affected, and a significant proportion of those experience moderate to severe symptoms, including sleep disturbance and negative moods. The report appears in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics.

“This study suggests that restless legs syndrome is common and troublesome in children and adolescents, occurring more frequently than diabetes and epilepsy,” said principal investigator Daniel Picchietti, a professor of pediatrics in the University of Illinois College of Medicine and a pediatrician and sleep medicine specialist with the Carle Clinic Association and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological sleep disorder characterized by sensations in the legs that create an urge to move. Symptoms are typically worse at night and during rest. RLS is closely associated with another condition, periodic limb movement disorder, in which a person’s legs jerk during sleep. Some people with periodic limb movement disorder also have RLS. Others lack the sensations in the legs that typify RLS.

Most of what is known about restless legs syndrome comes from research on adults. The new analysis is the first population-based prevalence study of RLS in children, and it is the first to use specific pediatric diagnostic criteria. The research team collected detailed data from 10,523 families in the U.S. and U.K.

The new study affirmed that there is a strong genetic component to RLS, Picchietti said. More than 70 percent of the children with RLS had at least one parent with the condition. In 16 percent of the affected children, both parents had RLS symptoms.

Two recent studies – appearing in July in the New England Journal of Medicine and in Nature Genetics – found genes associated with RLS.

“Restless legs syndrome runs in families. That is one of the major points of our study, and the discovery of associated genes really supports it,” Picchietti said.

Awareness of RLS in adults is increasing (depictions of – and jokes about – RLS are appearing more frequently in popular culture). It is less recognized in children, however, and parents and clinicians sometimes dismiss children’s complaints about unusual sensations in their legs as nothing more than “growing pains,” Picchietti said.

Many adults diagnosed with RLS report that their symptoms began in childhood. In the early 1990s, Picchietti began to notice that some children who came to his office because they had trouble sleeping or paying attention in school had symptoms of RLS. But there was scant research on the prevalence of RLS in children.

The new study included a rigorous analysis of participants’ reported symptoms, and excluded those who did not meet all of the National Institutes of Health criteria for diagnosing children with RLS. A child who had periodic limb movements during sleep and no other symptoms of RLS would not be counted, for example. A child who reported leg cramps or growing pains would not be included unless he or she met all of the other diagnostic criteria for RLS.

Some parents are surprised to learn that conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression appear to be more common in those diagnosed with RLS. Sleep disturbance, by itself, is known to aggravate ADHD and depression, which may explain the association, Picchietti said. But there may also be other reasons for the association.

Picchietti described the new findings as a major step forward in understanding how many children are affected by RLS. “But this is not the final answer,” he said. “While some children with RLS had significant sleep disturbance and daytime symptoms, others did not. Which children would benefit from treatment and what those treatments should be are important issues to be addressed. Much more study is needed.”

The research team also included clinicians and scientists from Johns Hopkins University; Seton Hall University; New Jersey Neuroscience Institute at JFK Medical Center; Worldwide Epidemiology, GlaxoSmithKline R&D; Premark Services, UK; and the Università Vita-Salute and IRCCS H San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.

Diana Yates | University of Illinois
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu
http://www.news.uiuc.edu/news/07/0822restless.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>