Dr. Michael Wagner, Specialist in General Medicine, Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany
Definition of restless legs syndrome — hereinafter referred to as RLS
RLS is a sleep-related neurological disorder affecting the legs. RLS was originally referred to asWittmaack-Ekbom syndrome orWillis- Ekbom disease. The original description dates back to 1861 and the term RLS was coined by Swedish neurologist Karl-Axel Ekbom in 1945.
A distinction is made between two types of RLS:
1. Primary or idiopathic RLS
2. Secondary RLS
Idiopathic RLS: The cause is largely unknown, although evidence points to a genetic link.
Secondary RLS: Occurs as a result of another disorder, e.g. iron deficiency or renal insufficiency (failure).
In Germany between 3% and 10% of the population suffer from RLS, which means that some 1.6 to 8 million people are affected by it!
This makes RLS the most common neurological disorder in Germany!
To date it has not been possible to confirm the causes of the disorder wit...