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Restless Legs Syndrome May Be A Biomarker For Underlying Disease

Update Date: Mar 06, 2014 10:08 AM EST

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) might be a possible biomarker for underlying disease, according to a new report by nationally recognized sleep expert. 

RLS is a disorder that affects nervous system. Patients suffering from RLS have unpleasant sensation in their legs and they have an unnatural urge to keep moving them. The urge arises mostly when they are resting like while sleeping at night. 

The editorial, which was authored by Boston Medical Center neurologist Stanford H. Auerbach, is in response to an analysis of 12,556 men who were followed over time by the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, published in the same issue of journal. The study had also pointed multiple associations with RLD. 

"Patients with RLS had a higher mortality rate than similar men, and showed an especially strong tendency toward cardiovascular disease and hypertension," said Auerbach, associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine in the press release. 

In a previous analyses of the same data men with RLS were more likely to array of diseases like lung disease, endocrine disease, diseases of nutrition and metabolism and other immune system problems.

In the editorial, Auerbach suggested that restless leg syndrome is a clear and meaningful biomarker for serious disease. He added that RLS screening might become more common as a toll for primary care providers to identify patients at risk in days to come. 

The editorial has been published in March 5, 2014 issue of Neurology

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