aetiology

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Restless legs syndrome can be

  • primary (idiopathic)
    • in most of the patients the aetiology is unknown (1)
    • a positive family history is seen in 50% of patients indicating a genetic predisposition (2)
      • an early age of onset (< 45 years) is observed in patients with a family history (3)
  • secondary
    • three major reversible causes of secondary RLS are
      • pregnancy
      • iron-deficiency anaemia
      • end-stage renal disease (1)

    • other associatiated conditions include:
      • vitamin B12/folate deficiency
      • peripheral neuropathy
      • Parkinson's disease
      • fibromyalgia
      • rheumatoid arthritis
      • diabetes mellitus

    • certain drugs are associated with RLS:
      • antidopaminergic agents - metoclopramide
      • antidepressants - Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (3)
      • Lithium
      • antihistamines (4)

Reference:

Last reviewed 01/2018

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