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
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
NOV 08, 2020
Neuroscience
Psychedelic DMT Improves Memory by Neurogenesis
NOV 08, 2020
Psychedelic DMT Improves Memory by Neurogenesis
Researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain have found that dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the psychoactiv ...
NOV 12, 2020
Technology
The Crossover of Virtual Reality and Drug Discovery
NOV 12, 2020
The Crossover of Virtual Reality and Drug Discovery
Researchers have recently developed a unique virtual reality (VR) tool that can help in drug development? Particularly, ...
NOV 23, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Therapeutically Active Ion-Channels
NOV 23, 2020
Therapeutically Active Ion-Channels
Therapeutically relevant ion channels have inspired researchers to look into drugs that can regulate their activity. Ion ...
DEC 02, 2020
Immunology
A Shingles Vaccine for Cancer Patients
DEC 02, 2020
A Shingles Vaccine for Cancer Patients
Receiving a vaccine (usually in the form of an inactivated pathogen) triggers an immune response without the symptoms of ...
DEC 27, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Attacking Mitochondria in Tumors
DEC 27, 2020
Attacking Mitochondria in Tumors
Researchers found that attacking a cell’s mitochondria can starve cancer cells. The study involves a possible ther ...
DEC 30, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Reduces Stress and Anxiety in Over 95% of Cases
DEC 30, 2020
Cannabis Reduces Stress and Anxiety in Over 95% of Cases
Whether cannabis will induce feelings of relaxation or anxiety often feels like a coin toss. Now, however, researchers f ...
Loading Comments...