Restless Legs Syndrome: Would You Like That with Movements or Without?
The restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common sensorimotor condition that often results in discomfort and sleep disturbance. Diagnosis of RLS is entirely clinical and based upon a patient’s description of subjective symptoms, and thus when considering RLS diagnosis non-specificity is a real problem. RLS is associated with periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS) in up to 90% of RLS sufferers; however, their presence is neither sufficient nor necessary for the diagnosis of RLS. The disease RLS and the motor phenomenon of PLMS share similarities in various areas, which include pathophysiology, pharmacology, genetics, and epidemiology. The purpose of this opinion piece is to outline the many similarities between RLS and PLMS in order to make an argument for the inclusion of PLMS as a supplementary diagnostic criterion of RLS, termed electro-clinical RLS, which would consist of the current clinical RLS diagnosis plus PLMS. This additional criterion could be used in cases where diagnosis is unclear to increase specificity or in research projects where proper diagnosis is desired at the investigational level.