What Causes RLS ?

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While there seems to be no one single cause for all people with RLS, a number of facts are now known to cause RLS. They include:

  • DrsEarley and Allen have documented central iron deficiency in patients with RLS, by using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and by taking cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Painstaking genetic linkage studies by Drs Montplaisir and Rouleau have discovered that RLS is linked to chromosome 12 or 14, depending on the family. Their finding offers promise for further understanding the pathology of RLS
  • Dr Connor seems to have found that receptors for iron transport are insufficient in patients with RLS. These receptors aren’t “packaging and delivering” an adequate amount of iron to specific cells in the substantia nigra, in the mid brain section. In June 2003, Dr Connor presented his study of autopsies on the brains of people suffering from long term RLS. No Neuro degeneration and no loss or damage of brain cells, as seen in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease was found. This finding gives hope that the development of treatments will be more specific to the disorder
  • The discovery of physical evidence of RLS confirms with certainty that the disease is not psychosomatic but a sensorimotor neurologically based disorder
  • For the sufferer, there is comfort in knowing that other feet are pacing the floor too. You are not crazy, you are not alone ... in fact it seems you may be in good company. *Leslie Charteris, author of The Saint, is described by his biographer, lan Dickerson, in words that many will find familiar…

Many a time, and sometimes in the most important of business meetings, he would pace up and down in his bare feet, listening to what was going on. Charteris actually wrote his own RLS symptoms into the Saint's character, shown by this dialogue: "It's a sort of muscle restlessness. Stops you settling down to sleep. The only cure is to move around and work it off. I'll go jog off my fidgets."

*An excerpt taken from February, 1998 "NightWalkers" Newsletter, RLS Foundation, USA.