Scientists have found the origin of restless leg syndrome

American researchers may have discovered the origin of restless legs syndrome, a neurological disease that affects 15% of the world population.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disease that manifests itself in an irrepressible need to move the lower limbs, especially at night. Also known as Willis-Ekbom’s disease, it would affect up to 15% of the world population.

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, restless leg syndrome could originate in the brain. Their work, published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, Neurology, focused on 28 volunteers suffering from the disease for at least 13 years. These patients were compared to a control group of 51 volunteers and both groups received cerebral MRI.

Pathological changes in the brain

The Verdict? The American researchers found that patients with restless leg syndrome had thinner brain tissue (7.5%) than the average in their somatosensory cortex. This region of the brain well known by science has the role of receiving information related to the 5 senses sent by the rest of the body.

In addition, researchers found fewer connections between the two cerebral hemispheres of volunteers with restless leg syndrome.

“We think that restless leg syndrome is linked to pathological changes in the brain: more work is needed to consider effective treatment,” the scientists conclude.

Emy Torres

Emy holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and currently freelances part-time for The Talking Democrat.