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      Treating restless legs syndrome in the context of sleep disordered breathing comorbidity

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      European Respiratory Review

      European Respiratory Society (ERS)

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          Abstract

          Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and restless legs syndrome (RLS) are two of the most prevalent sleep disorders and can coexist within the same patient. Nonetheless, the recognition of RLS among OSA patients has important clinical implications, since RLS can disrupt sleep despite adequate treatment of sleep disordered breathing and should be treated accordingly. Furthermore, the presence of OSA can also increase the severity of RLS. Therefore, it is important to be able to correctly identify both disorders and treat them effectively. The present article reviews our current knowledge on this comorbidity and discusses potential treatment options for RLS in the context of OSA.

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          Most cited references 44

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          Obstructive sleep apnea: brain structural changes and neurocognitive function before and after treatment.

          Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is commonly associated with neurocognitive impairments that have not been consistently related to specific brain structure abnormalities. Knowledge of the brain structures involved in OSA and the corresponding functional implications could provide clues to the pathogenesis of cognitive impairment and its reversibility in this disorder. To investigate the cognitive deficits and the corresponding brain morphology changes in OSA, and the modifications after treatment, using combined neuropsychologic testing and voxel-based morphometry. A total of 17 patients treatment-naive to sleep apnea and 15 age-matched healthy control subjects underwent a sleep study, cognitive tests, and magnetic resonance imaging. After 3 months of treatment, cognitive and imaging data were collected to assess therapy efficacy. Neuropsychologic results in pretreatment OSA showed impairments in most cognitive areas, and in mood and sleepiness. These impairments were associated with focal reductions of gray-matter volume in the left hippocampus (entorhinal cortex), left posterior parietal cortex, and right superior frontal gyrus. After treatment, we observed significant improvements involving memory, attention, and executive-functioning that paralleled gray-matter volume increases in hippocampal and frontal structures. The cognitive and structural deficits in OSA may be secondary to sleep deprivation and repetitive nocturnal intermittent hypoxemia. These negative effects may be recovered by consistent and thorough treatment. Our findings highlight the importance of early diagnosis and successful treatment of this disorder.
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            Clinical, polysomnographic, and genetic characteristics of restless legs syndrome: a study of 133 patients diagnosed with new standard criteria.

            One hundred thirty-three cases of restless legs syndrome (RLS), diagnosed with criteria recently formulated by an international study group, were studied by questionnaire and with all-night polysomnographic recordings. Results show that RLS starts at a mean age of 27.2 years and before age 20 in 38.3% of patients. Symptoms often appear in one leg only and also involve upper limbs in about half of all cases. Most patients (94%) report sleep-onset insomnia or numerous nocturnal awakenings due to RLS symptoms. A strong relationship was found between these complaints and polysomnographic findings; increasing sleep latency and number of awakenings and decreasing sleep efficiency were associated with worsening symptoms. Periodic leg movements in sleep (index > 5 movements/h sleep) were found in 80.2% of patients. This study shows that this percentage is increased when 2 recording nights are considered (most severe score). Eighty patients of 127 (63%) reported the presence of RLS in at least one of their first-degree relatives. In these families, 221 of 568 first-degree relatives (39%) were reported by the patients to be affected with RLS.
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              Prevalence of restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder in the general population.

              Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) and restless legs syndrome (RLS) are two sleep disorders characterized by abnormal leg movements and are responsible for deterioration in sleep quality. However, the prevalence of these disorders is not well known in the general population. This study aims to document the prevalence of RLS and PLMD in the general population and to identify factors associated with these conditions. Cross-sectional studies were performed in the UK, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Overall, 18,980 subjects aged 15 to 100 years old representative of the general population of these five European countries underwent telephone interviews with the Sleep-EVAL system. A section of the questionnaire assessed leg symptoms during sleep. The diagnoses of PLMD and RLS were based on the minimal criteria provided by the International Classification of Sleep Disorders. The prevalence of PLMD was 3.9% and RLS was 5.5%. RLS and PLMD were higher in women than in men. The prevalence of RLS significantly increased with age. In multivariate models, being a woman, the presence of musculoskeletal disease, heart disease, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, cataplexy, doing physical activities close to bedtime and the presence of a mental disorder were significantly associated with both disorders. Factors specific to PLMD were: being a shift or night worker, snoring, daily coffee intake, use of hypnotics and stress. Factors solely associated with RLS were: advanced age, obesity, hypertension, loud snoring, drinking at least three alcoholic beverages per day, smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day and use of SSRI. PLMD and RLS are prevalent in the general population. Both conditions are associated with several physical and mental disorders and may negatively impact sleep. Greater recognition of these sleep disorders is needed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                European Respiratory Review
                Eur Respir Rev
                European Respiratory Society (ERS)
                0905-9180
                1600-0617
                October 01 2019
                September 30 2019
                October 01 2019
                September 30 2019
                : 28
                : 153
                : 190061
                Article
                10.1183/16000617.0061-2019
                © 2019

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