Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is often described by patients in many ways. They often use words to describe the sensation such as an ache, creeping, crawling, pulling, or that they have to get up and walk it off. RLS affects both men and women and can start at any age. It may be confused with growing pains or restlessness when experienced by children. In addition, the severity of the disorder appears to increase with age. Older patients experience symptoms more frequently and for longer periods of time. More than 80 percent of people with RLS also suffer from a condition known as Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD). Characteristics of PLMD include involuntary leg twitching or jerking movements during sleep that occur repeatedly throughout the night and result in disrupted sleep.
In addition to poor quality and short sleep at night, research has shown that people with RLS generally experience a reduced quality of life in the absence of treatment. There is also evidence of a connection between RLS and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
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