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      Painful Restless Legs Syndrome : A Severe, Burning Form of the Disease

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          Abstract

          Limb sensations in restless legs syndrome (RLS) include an urge to move, a discomfort, or even a frank pain. However, no large studies compared painful to nonpainful RLS as specific phenotypes. We investigated the painful form of RLS in a clinical series of primary RLS patients and a large sample of members of the French RLS association (AFE).

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          Most cited references 25

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          Validation of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group rating scale for restless legs syndrome.

            (2003)
          There is a need for an easily administered instrument which can be applied to all patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS) to measure disease severity for clinical assessment, research, or therapeutic trials. The pathophysiology of RLS is not clear and no objective measure so far devised can apply to all patients or accurately reflect severity. Moreover, RLS is primarily a subjective disorder. Therefore, a subjective scale is at present the optimal instrument to meet this need. Twenty centers from six countries participated in an initial reliability and validation study of a rating scale for the severity of RLS designed by the International RLS study group (IRLSSG). A ten-question scale was developed on the basis of repeated expert evaluation of potential items. This scale, the IRLSSG rating scale (IRLS), was administered to 196 RLS patients, most on some medication, and 209 control subjects. The IRLS was found to have high levels of internal consistency, inter-examiner reliability, test-retest reliability over a 2-4 week period, and convergent validity. It also demonstrated criterion validity when tested against the current criterion of a clinical global impression and readily discriminated patient from control groups. The scale was dominated by a single severity factor that explained at least 59% of the pooled item variance. This scale meets performance criteria for a brief, patient completed instrument that can be used to assess RLS severity for purposes of clinical assessment, research, or therapeutic trials. It supports a finding that RLS is a relatively uniform disorder in which the severity of the basic symptoms is strongly related to their impact on the patient's life. In future studies, the IRLS should be tested against objective measures of RLS severity and its sensitivity should be studied as RLS severity is systematically manipulated by therapeutic interventions.
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            The four diagnostic criteria for Restless Legs Syndrome are unable to exclude confounding conditions ("mimics").

            Epidemiological survey studies have suggested that a large fraction of the adult population, from five to more than 10%, have symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). Recently, however, it has become clear that the positive predictive value of many questionnaire screens for RLS may be fairly low and that many individuals who are identified by these screens have other conditions that can "mimic" the features of RLS by satisfying the four diagnostic criteria. We noted the presence of such confounders in a case-control family study and sought to develop methods to differentiate them from true RLS. Family members from the case-control study were interviewed blindly by an RLS expert using the validated Hopkins telephone diagnostic interview (HTDI). Besides questions on the four key diagnostic features of RLS, the HTDI contains open-ended questions on symptom quality and relief strategies and other questions to probe the character of provocative situations and modes of relief. Based on the entire HDTI, a diagnosis of definite, probable or possible RLS or Not-RLS was made. Out of 1255 family members contacted, we diagnosed 1232: 402 (32.0%) had definite or probable RLS, 42 (3.3%) possible RLS, and 788 (62.8%) Not-RLS. Of the 788 family members who were determined not to have RLS, 126 could satisfy all four diagnostic criteria (16%). This finding indicates that the specificity of the four criteria was only 84%. Those with mimic conditions were found to have atypical presentations whose features could be used to assist in final diagnosis. A variety of conditions, including cramps, positional discomfort, and local leg pathology can satisfy all four diagnostic criteria for RLS and thereby "mimic" RLS by satisfying the four diagnostic criteria. Definitive diagnosis of RLS, therefore, requires exclusion of these other conditions, which may be more common in the population than true RLS. Short of an extended clinical interview and workup, certain features of presentation help differentiate mimics from true RLS.
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              Small fiber neuropathy: A burning problem.

               Lan Zhou,  Jinny Tavee (2009)
              Small fiber neuropathy is increasingly being recognized as a major cause of painful burning sensations in the feet, especially in the elderly. Although strength remains preserved throughout the course of the disease, the pain and paresthesias are often disabling. Diabetes mellitus is the most common identifiable cause of small fiber neuropathy, and impaired oral glucose tolerance and individual components of the metabolic syndrome are often associated with it. Some cases, however, are idiopathic. Skin biopsy (with an evaluation of the density of intraepidermal nerve fibers) and tests of autonomic nerve function are useful for the diagnosis. Management involves controlling pain and identifying and aggressively treating the underlying cause.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The Clinical Journal of Pain
                The Clinical Journal of Pain
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0749-8047
                2015
                May 2015
                : 31
                : 5
                : 459-466
                Article
                10.1097/AJP.0000000000000133
                25167326
                914a9028-ea0f-4220-a539-434f649f72d7
                © 2015

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