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Restless Legs Syndrome and Poliomyelitis: New Evidences of an Old Observation?

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      Fatigue in neurological disorders.

      Chronic fatigue is a typical symptom of neurological diseases, and is most disabling in multiple sclerosis, postpoliomyelitis, poststroke, and in chronic fatigue syndrome. Disorders of neuromuscular junction transmission and metabolic diseases cause muscle fatigability, which is characterised by failure to sustain the force of muscle contraction (peripheral fatigue). Fatigue is also seen in diseases that affect the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems (central fatigue). Enhanced perception of effort and limited endurance of sustained physical and mental activities are the main characteristics of central fatigue. Metabolic and structural lesions that disrupt the usual process of activation in pathways interconnecting the basal ganglia, thalamus, limbic system, and higher cortical centre are implicated in the pathophysiological process of central fatigue. A state of pre-existing relative hypocortisolaemia might sensitise the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to development of persistent central fatigue after stress. The contributions of physiological, cognitive, and affective changes underlying fatigue are variable, and treatment is largely symptomatic and rehabilitative.
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        Restless legs syndrome--theoretical roles of inflammatory and immune mechanisms.

        Theories for restless legs syndrome (RLS) pathogenesis include iron deficiency, dopamine dysregulation and peripheral neuropathy. Increased prevalence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in controlled studies in RLS and case reports of post-infectious RLS suggest potential roles for inflammation and immunological alterations. A literature search for all conditions associated with RLS was performed. These included secondary RLS disorders and factors that may exacerbate RLS. All of these conditions were reviewed with respect to potential pathogenesis including reports of iron deficiency, neuropathy, SIBO, inflammation and immune changes. A condition was defined as highly-associated if there was a prevalence study that utilized an appropriate control group. Small case reports were recorded but not included as definite RLS-associated conditions. Fifty four diseases, syndromes and conditions have been reported to cause and/or exacerbate RLS. Of these, 38 have been reported to have a higher prevalence than age-matched controls, 9 have adequate sized reports and have general acceptance as RLS-associated conditions and 7 have been reported in case report form. Overall, 42 of the 47 RLS-associated conditions (89%) have also been associated with inflammatory and/or immune changes. In addition, 43% have been associated with peripheral iron deficiency, 40% with peripheral neuropathy and 32% with SIBO. Most of the remaining conditions have yet to be studied for these factors. The fact that 95% of the 38 highly-associated RLS conditions are also associated with inflammatory/immune changes suggests the possibility that RLS may be mediated or affected through these mechanisms. Inflammation can be responsible for iron deficiency and hypothetically could cause central nervous system iron deficiency-induced RLS. Alternatively, an immune reaction to gastrointestinal bacteria or other antigens may hypothetically cause RLS by a direct immunological attack on the central or peripheral nervous system. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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          Restless legs syndrome in patients with sequelae of poliomyelitis.

          No studies have examined the association between RLS and the sequelae of poliomyelitis (PM). We studied the frequency and severity of RLS in a group of consecutive patients with the sequelae of poliomyelitis (PM) and the effect of treatment with dopaminergic drugs. A diagnosis of RLS was made according to the criteria of the International RLS Study Group, and severity was assessed by the RLS rating scale. Information on sex, age, age at onset, site affected by PM, disease duration of PM, and history of post-polio syndrome (pPS) was obtained in a cohort of 52 PM patients. The mean age was 55.9 ± 6.5 years; 39 patients had post-polio syndrome (75%). RLS was diagnosed in 21 (40.4%) patients. Sixteen of the 21 patients (76.2%) with RLS had pPS, which was similar to the non-RLS group (74.2% patients with pPS). RLS symptoms were very severe in 5 patients, severe in 13, moderate in 2 and mild in 1. Nineteen of the 21 patients with RLS had symptoms predominantly in the more affected lower limb (90% of patients). Sixteen patients received dopaminergic agonist treatment with a significant reduction in their scores on the RLS severity scale from 28.3 ± 4.7 to 6.9 ± 7.3 (p < 0.001). RLS occurs frequently in patients with PM, both in those with and without pPS, and responds well to treatment with dopaminergic drugs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

            Author and article information

            1Neurophysiopathology Unit, Department of Systems Medicine, Sleep and Epilepsy Medicine Centre, Tor Vergata University and Hospital , Rome, Italy
            2IRCCS Neuromed , Pozzilli, Italy
            3Neurology, Department of Systems Medicine, Tor Vergata University and Hospital , Rome, Italy
            4Clinica Neurologica Ospedale S. Eugenio , Rome, Italy
            5IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation , Rome, Italy
            Author notes

            Edited by: Rene Drucker-Colin, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

            Reviewed by: Rosario Moratalla, Cajal Institute, Spain; Isaac Tunez, University of Cordoba, Spain

            This article was submitted to Sleep and Chronobiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Neurology.

            URI :
            URI :
            Front Neurol
            Front Neurol
            Front. Neurol.
            Frontiers in Neurology
            Frontiers Media S.A.
            10 February 2015
            : 6
            4322729 10.3389/fneur.2015.00023
            Copyright © 2015 Romigi, Pierantozzi, Izzi, Desiato, Liguori, Marchi, Mercuri and Placidi.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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            General Commentary


            restless legs syndrome, poliomyelitis, fatigue, post polio syndrome, sleep


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