Treatment of restless legs syndrome

Luigi Ferini-Strambi, Mauro Manconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common condition characterized by an urge to move the legs, accompanied by uncomfortable or unpleasant sensations. Symptoms predominantly occur at rest in the evening or at night, and they are alleviated by moving the affected extremity or by walking. Recent European epidemiological studies reported an overall prevalence of RLS up to 10%, with a female preponderance. The prevalence rates reported in south-eastern Europe are lower, as are those in Asiatic populations. Although the aetiopathogenesis of RLS is still unknown, the rapid and dramatic improvement of RLS with dopaminergic compounds suggests a dopaminergic system dysfunction as the basic mechanism. Extensive data are available for l-dopa and dopamine receptor agonists, especially for pramipexole and ropinirole. Pharmacological treatment should be limited to those patients who suffer from clinically relevant RLS with impaired sleep quality or quality of life. Treatment on demand is a clinical need in RLS cases that present intermittent symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue numberSUPPL. 4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Augmentation
  • Dopamine receptor agonists
  • Restless legs syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


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