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Restless Legs Syndrome Seen Frequently in Epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav; 2017 Mar; Geyer, et al

Frequent moderate-to-severe restless legs syndrome (RLS) was identified in patients with epilepsy in a recent study, and the frequency of RLS was much more common than would typically be seen in patients of similar age. 98 consecutive patients with localization-related temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE [50 right TLE and 48 left TLE]) who met inclusion criteria were seen in an outpatient clinic from 2005 to 2015. The control group consisted of 50 individuals with no history or immediate family history of epilepsy. Researchers found:

  • There was a significant association between the type of epilepsy and whether or not patients had RLS χ2 (1)=10.17, using the χ2 Goodness of Fit Test.
  • Based on the odds ratio, the odds of patients having RLS were 4.60 times higher if they had right temporal epilepsy than if they had left temporal epilepsy, serving as a potential lateralizing indicator.
  • A prodromal sensation of worsening RLS occurred in some patients, providing the opportunity to intervene at an earlier stage in this subgroup.


Geyer JD, Geyer EE, Fetterman Z, Carney PR. Epilepsy and restless legs syndrome. Epilepsy Behav. 2017;68:41-44. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.12.010.