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Is RLS Associated with Premotor Symptoms of PD?

J Neurol Sci; ePub 2018 Sep 1; Iwaki, Hughes, et al

There were moderate associations between the presence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and increased odds of having constipation and possible REM sleep behavior disorder (pRBD). This according to a recent, large-scale, longitudinal study that aimed to investigate if transient or continuous/recurrent RLS identified by questionnaire are associated with the premotor symptoms of Parkinson disease (PD). The study population comprised 16,636 men in the Health Professional Follow-Up Study, who answered questions regarding RLS symptoms in both 2002 and 2008, and were not diagnosed with PD. Outcomes were self-reported constipation, pRBD in 2012, and smell identification test score in 2014. Researchers found:

  • RLS was associated with increased odds of constipation, but only continuous/recurrent RLS status was associated with higher odds of having pRBD.
  • RLS was not significantly associated with olfactory scores.


Iwaki H, Hughes KC, Gao X, Schwarzschild MA, Ascherio A. The association between restless legs syndrome and premotor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. [Published online ahead of print September 1, 2018]. J Neurol Sci. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2018.08.028.