Restless Leg Syndrome May Signal Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Risks

A new study in the journal Sleep suggests that patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS) may be at increased risk for hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is a known risk factor for clinical stroke. This study evaluated silent cerebral SVD by MRI in patients with RLS who had no history of stroke or known stroke risk factors.

They examined patients with RLS in two groups: those with RLS less than 10 years, and those with RLS for more than 10 years. They also had a control group of subjects with no RLS.

The results were striking. Those with  long-lasting RLS and its accompanying periodic limb movements in sleep are at significant risk for silent SVD and perhaps for the development of clinical stroke.

The term cerebral small vessel disease refers to a group of pathological processes that affect the small blood vessels of the brain. Cerebral small vessel disease is most commonly related to aging and hypertension, and can lead to vascular dementia.

Common symptoms of SVD are anxious mood, insomnia, fatigue, depressed mood, and pain.

If you’ve had RLS for more than a year, it’s time to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have regarding SVD, especially if you have had RLS for several years.

Advertisements

One comment on “Restless Leg Syndrome May Signal Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Risks

  1. Pingback: Q&A: Itchy Ears | Little Cat Diary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s