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Dusunen Adam. 2006; 19(2): 94-102

The Role of Central Nervous System in the Pathogenesis of Restless Legs Syndrome

Suat Acar, İsmail Apak, Yusuf Tamam, Ahmet Murat Gencer.


Restless legs syndrome is a neurological disorder of the legs characterized by spontaneous movements and paresthesia which appear at rest or sleep and are relieved movements. The studies searching for the ethiopathogenesis of the syndrome showed the role of the central nervous system. According to electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies, abnormalities involving corticothalamospinal tracts which contribute locomotor system physiology have been determined. Recent studies showed dysfunction of the central dopaminergic systenı and symptoms could be ameliorated by dopaminergic drugs. Although central circadian factors of the disorder were suspected to be responsible for ethiopathogenesis, most factors remain to be elucidated. Uncertain aspects of the disorder may be explained more definitely after the researches focus on sensory-motor symptoms organized in central structures, participating neuron types, mediating neurotransmitters and central control mechanisms.

Key words: Restless Legs Syndrome, central nervous system, dopaminergic system, circadian factors

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