Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome
Unpleasant sensations from Restless Legs Syndrome (Willis-Ekbom disease) can occur while sitting still or during sleep, causing an irresistible urge to move. It can be difficult to get comfortable, and sometimes a person with RLS can experience involuntary twitching or jerking.
While studies have shown that RLS has been associated with changes in the dopamine system as well as iron levels, there is no known cause. However, it is important to note that more than half of people with RLS have a family history of the condition.
There are two categories of RLS based on cause:
Primary or idiopathic means that the cause of RLS is unknown, that there is no disease-related cause. Symptoms may begin anytime in a person's life but become more common with age. About 70% of people with RLS have primary RLS.
Secondary RLS affects about 30% of people with RLS and means there's an association with other conditions, including:
- Iron deficiency
- End-stage renal disease (ESRD)
NEUPRO® (rotigotine transdermal system) is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate-to-severe primary Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). NEUPRO has not been studied in secondary RLS.
RLS is more commonly found in smokers and people who don't exercise regularly (less than three hours a month). Talk to your doctor if you have any of these conditions and you think you may have RLS.
Restless Legs Syndrome – mild and moderate-to-severe
For some, RLS can be mildly annoying, but for others it can have a much greater impact.
Mild means RLS occurs occasionally (less than 2 nights a week).
Moderate-to-severe means RLS has a negative impact on people's lives. They suffer either every day or at least twice a week. People with moderate-to-severe RLS generally get less than five hours of sleep a night. In addition to nighttime symptoms, there may be daytime symptoms too. Daily treatment may be necessary for these people.
If you're affected by moderate-to-severe primary RLS, NEUPRO may be able to help.