A new Mayo Clinic study has for the first time established rates of restless legs syndrome in children, finding that almost 6 percent of children seen in Mayo"s sleep clinic have the disease. The study, published in this months issue of Annals of Neurology, also notes that the most common risk factors for the disease in kids are family history of restless legs syndrome and iron deficiency.
"Restless legs syndrome is underdiagnosed in kids," says Suresh Kotagal, M.D., chair of Mayo Clinic pediatric neurology and a sleep specialist. "If you look at children with difficulty falling asleep, youll see a fair number have restless legs. Thus far, there have been sporadic case reports, but nobody has studied a larger group of children, looking at children with insomnia complaints as a whole to see how many had restless legs syndrome."
Dr. Kotagal and his colleague Michael Silber, M.B.Ch.B., Mayo Clinic neurologist and sleep specialist, indicate that restless legs syndrome may account for some of the age-old notion of "growing pains."
Lisa Lucier | EurekAlert!
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