Parkinson’s sufferers may also develop leg motor restlessness

Alan Wu

November 10, 2011

Parkinson's sufferers may also develop leg motor restlessnessThose suffering from Parkinson’s disease have long been thought to also be prone to having restless leg syndrome. However, a new study finds that this may not be the case.

Restless leg syndrome is a sleep and movement disorder that gives sufferers the urge to move their legs often as way to ward off uncomfortable sensations. In past studies, it has been believed that Parkinson’s sufferers are more prone to restless leg syndrome than other people as both issues respond to dopamine. However, the new study challenges these findings.

In the study published in the journal American Academy of Neurology, researchers compared 200 early-stage Parkinson’s sufferers who hadn’t started dopamine treatments with 173 similarly-aged people without the disease.

From the data, scientists found that Parkinson’s sufferers were no more likely to have restless leg syndrome than those without the disease. However, they were three times more likely to develop leg motor restlessness than those without Parkinson’s.

Many people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s can continue to live independently with their condition, though they could be more prone to falling due to its side effects. Because of this, those who have the disease may want to consider using a medical alert smartwatch as a means to call for help if they do fall while alone.

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