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Much evidence suggests that restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder characterized by an unsuppressed response to sensory urges due to abnormalities in inhibitory pathways that specifically link sensory input and motor output. Therefore, in the present study, we tested sensory-motor integration in patients with RLS, measured by short latency afferent inhibition (SAI) and long latency afferent inhibition (LAI). SAI and LAI were determined using transcranial magnetic stimulation before and after 1month of dopaminergic treatment in RLS patients. Ten naïve patients with idiopathic RLS and ten healthy age-matched controls were recruited. Patients with secondary causes for RLS (e.g. renal failure, anaemia, low iron and ferritin) were excluded, as well as those with other sleep disorders. Untreated RLS patients demonstrated deficient SAI in the human motor cortex, which proved revertible toward normal values after dopaminergic treatment. We demonstrated an alteration of sensory-motor integration, which is normalized by dopaminergic treatment, in patients affected by RLS. It is likely that the reduction of SAI might contribute significantly to the release of the involuntary movements and might account for the sensory urge typical of this condition.
Department of Neurosciences, Psychiatry and Anaesthesiological Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of neurology
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Diseases of multiple peripheral nerves simultaneously. Polyneuropathies usually are characterized by symmetrical, bilateral distal motor and sensory impairment with a graded increase in severity distally. The pathological processes affecting peripheral nerves include degeneration of the axon, myelin or both. The various forms of polyneuropathy are categorized by the type of nerve affected (e.g., sensory, motor, or autonomic), by the distribution of nerve injury (e.g., distal vs. proximal), by nerve component primarily affected (e.g., demyelinating vs. axonal), by etiology, or by pattern of inheritance.
Impairment of the ability to perform smoothly coordinated voluntary movements. This condition may affect the limbs, trunk, eyes, pharynx, larynx, and other structures. Ataxia may result from impaired sensory or motor function. Sensory ataxia may result from posterior column injury or PERIPHERAL NERVE DISEASES. Motor ataxia may be associated with CEREBELLAR DISEASES; CEREBRAL CORTEX diseases; THALAMIC DISEASES; BASAL GANGLIA DISEASES; injury to the RED NUCLEUS; and other conditions.
Marked impairments in the development of motor coordination such that the impairment interferes with activities of daily living. (From DSM-IV, 1994)
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