NOV 15, 2018 11:39 AM PST

Treating Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Credit: verywellhealth.com

A common condition of the nervous system, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is the overwhelming urge to move the legs. Usually unpleasant symptoms, many RLS patients experience tingling, burning and painful cramping sensations in the leg—with 80% experience usually at bedtime their legs jerking or twitching.

Now, according to a study published in the Journal of Physiology, a breakthrough treatment for RLS may be on its way.

Recent research is pointing that RLS may not just be caused by simply genetics and the central nervous system but by the nerve cells targeting the muscles. The researchers were able to conclude their findings after measuring the nerve excitability in motor nerve cells of patients with RLS and compared these measurements to healthy subjects.

Specifically, the study indicates that the involuntary muscle moments in RLS are actually caused by an increased number of signals between nerve cells that supply the leg muscles. Such discovery could prompt researchers working in drug development and discovery to find more targeted treatments for RLS.

Credit: heathjade.com

“Patients who suffer from Restless legs syndrome complain of painful symptoms in the legs leading to sleep disturbances. The mechanisms for RLS are still not completely understood. We have shown that also the nerve cells supplying muscles in the leg are responsible and hereby additional drug treatments may be ahead targeting these nerve cells,” commented Dirk Czesnik--author of the study.

Researchers are hopeful that future drug developments will target the nerve cells that signal each other to reduce the number of messages being sent—ultimately, achieving normal levels of signaling that can prevent the occurrence of RLS symptoms.

These drugs will most likely inhibit the ion channels that are essential for nerve cell communication. However, further research is needed to investigate the effects of different compounds in patients with RLS.

Source: Journal of Physiology, ScienceDaily

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
JUL 14, 2022
Plants & Animals
Using Worms to Study Precision Medicine
JUL 14, 2022
Using Worms to Study Precision Medicine
Personalized medicine refers to making decisions about treatment that are optimized to a specific individual, often as a ...
JUL 28, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
FDA Approved Cannabis Drug Products
JUL 28, 2022
FDA Approved Cannabis Drug Products
The FDA has approved some cannabis infused drugs for medical usage. Here's what they are.
AUG 07, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Shows Promise in Preventing Malaria
AUG 07, 2022
Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Shows Promise in Preventing Malaria
A singular injection of a monoclonal antibody treatment candidate has been shown as safe and highly protective in US adu ...
AUG 10, 2022
Neuroscience
Memory Flash Learning Method Improves Visual Perception of People with Autism
AUG 10, 2022
Memory Flash Learning Method Improves Visual Perception of People with Autism
Tel Aviv University researchers developed a new learning method for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that can ...
AUG 12, 2022
Technology
Bioengineered Cornea Helps Restore Sight for the Visually Impaired
AUG 12, 2022
Bioengineered Cornea Helps Restore Sight for the Visually Impaired
Corneal disease refers to a range of conditions that can cause significant damage to the cornea, the clear tissue layer ...
SEP 15, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Critical Success Factors for Automating Laboratory Workflows
SEP 15, 2022
Critical Success Factors for Automating Laboratory Workflows
Staff shortages and increasing sample volume are the factors typically driving laboratories to assess their current work ...
Loading Comments...