Understanding The Risks Related To Restless Legs Syndrome

2010-09-12 | |
Last updated: 2013-09-09

Hyperactivity And Restless Legs Syndrome

While more common in later age, Restless Legs Syndrome has been found to occur more frequently in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) than in other children. As well, in a study of UK children, researchers from the University of Illinois found that roughly 2% of children aged 8 to 17 were affected by the condition, making it more common than even diabetes.

With various individuals in the population affected, the condition has numerous causes and one important cause is genetics. In 2007, research led by Emory University found some genes responsible for the condition. Subsequently, research from the University of Montreal found that having a brother or sister with the disorder raises an individual’s risk of developing the syndrome by more than 3.5 times. Having a parent with the disorder increases the child’s risk of having the syndrome by 1.8 times.

Other Conditions Are Linked With Restless Legs Syndrome

In addition to genetics, other conditions can also lead to Restless Legs Syndrome. People suffering from Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis and nerve pain all have a higher risk of developing the problem. As well, pregnant women also have higher rates of the disorder.

Obesity And Restless Legs Syndrome Are Related

Yet another contributing cause of the disorder is obesity. According to a research study by Harvard School of Public Health, those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher had an almost 50% greater risk of Restless Legs Syndrome than those with with a BMI that was less than 30. Having a BMI of 30 is considered as being obese.

Iron Deficiencies Are Tied To Restless Legs Syndrome

As well as in the case of these medical problems, individuals suffering from iron deficiencies are also at higher risk from Restless Legs Syndrome. Based on research published in the International Journal Of Transfusion Medicine, researchers found that in regular blood donors, more than 20% suffered from iron deficiencies and roughly 18% experienced Restless Legs Syndrome making for a strong relationship between iron deficiency and the condition.

This relationship between iron in the metabolism and Restless Legs Syndrome is strong enough that considerable ongoing research is under way to investigate the relationship between iron in the body and levels of the nerve transmitting chemical dopamine in the brain. So far, treatments that target these chemical message transmitters in the brain have been the most effective for minimizing symptoms although many people claim no benefit from medications.

Do you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome or share a bed with someone who does? Share your experiences in the health forums.

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