Treatment-resistant sensory motor symptoms in persons with SCI may be signs of restless legs syndrome
2011 (English)In: Spinal Cord, ISSN 1362-4393, E-ISSN 1476-5624, Vol. 49, no 6, 754-756 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Study design: Case report on the successful treatment with pramipexole in four men with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) suffering from refractory symptoms that were previously considered to be manifestations of a post-traumatic spastic syndrome or neuropathic pain.
Objective: To raise awareness among health professionals regarding the diagnostic and therapeutic possibility of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and periodic limb movements (PLMs) in some patients with SCI responding poorly to conventional treatment for spasticity or neuropathic pain.
Setting: Neurorehabilitation department of the Rehabilitation Medicine Center of Northern University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden.
Methods: Medical records and clinical data were retrospectively reviewed.
Results: All cases obtained treatment with pramipexole, initially 0.09–0.72 mg day−1. Two of the cases had RLS and PLMs, one RLS only and one PLMs only. All four reported symptoms in the lower extremities and one also in the upper extremities. Three patients with residual gait function reported RLS score with/without treatment as follows: 32/11, 37/12 and 33/12. One patient with complete paraplegia (with incomplete RLS score) reported 22/10. After a follow-up period of 16, 20, 43 and 49 months, respectively, all four still reported excellent outcomes. Two remained on initial dosage; one had increased dosage from 0.09 to 0.18 mg day−1 and one from 0.27 to 0.80 mg day−1 during the follow-up period.
Conclusions: In persons with SCI suffering from infralesional involuntary movements and/or dysesthesia and with poor response to conventional antispastic or analgesic treatment, the possibility of RLS or PLMs should be considered, as these conditions seem eminently treatable.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 49, no 6, 754-756 p.
spinal cord injury; restless legs syndrome; periodic limb movements
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42836DOI: 10.1038/sc.2010.164OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-42836DiVA: diva2:410511