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Gulhane Med J. 2011; 53(2): 77-84

Familial and single cases of restless leg syndrome

Şevket Akpınar, Muzaffer Yardım, Nevzat Akyatan.

Heredofamilial cases of restless leg syndrome are presented. In a family a father (50-year-old) and his daughter (19-year-old) were investigated. Moreover, his mother and sister gave the history of restless leg syndrome. The father complained of a disturbing feeling at his legs which urged him unwillingly to move his legs and arms, causing insomnia for 20 years. In order to prevent this impulsive feeling that forced him to move his legs, he wrapped his legs into nylons, towels, hit his legs with his hands, got up and walked around or snack. The patient who coped with these symptoms till late hours of the night could only fall asleep at dawn. He had no complaint during daytime. The sleep EEG investigations demonstrated that the patient had severe sleep disturbance and the sleep switched from second period to first period or from the first period to awakening. His daughter (19 years old) occasionally had a feeling that as if her feet did not belong to her during sleep for 2 years. This urged her to keep her feet in planter flexion. Sometimes she wrapped and squeezed her ankles with a rope, and only through the pain due to this squeezing she could avoid of this feeling. If she still could not get rid of this feeling she lied down on her abdomen and moved her legs up and down. After getting tired, she could go to sleep. Both father and daughter complained insomnia and this was confirmed by sleep EEG investigations. The severity of symptoms varied among the members of the family. In addition to familial cases presented above a single case with restless leg syndrome is presented. A 26-year-old male complained unusual feeling at his right leg, which caused movement or the right leg and hitting of the heel since he was 14. The symptoms not only occured night, but also during the day. The patient needed to move his legs in order to get read of unpleasant feeling. The etiology, pathophysiology and the treatment of the restless leg syndrome are unknown. None of the treatment modalities used in the father gave satisfactory results.

Key words: Heredofamilial feature, restless leg, sleep disturbance, sleep EEG

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