Restless legs syndrome
Wittmaack-Ekbom or restless leg(s) syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system that affects sensation and movement in the legs and causes the limbs to feel uncomfortable. Relief can be temporarily gained by moving the legs which cause sufferers to seem fidgety and restless. It can affect up to 15 percent of the American population.
It is not to be confused with akathisia, a movement disorder that looks similar, but is caused as a side-effect of antipsychotic medication. Unlike restless legs syndrome sufferers, those with akathisia gain most relief by lying down and do not experience worsening of symptoms at night.
A study released in April 2005 of 19 French-Canadian families with the syndrome confirmed that one or more genes is responsible for it.
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