Parkinson's drug could treat restless leg syndrome

Dec 06, 2010

A drug prescribed for Parkinson's disease may also treat restless leg syndrome without the adverse side effects of current therapies, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

Rasagaline works by prolonging the effect of dopamine, a chemical that transmits signals between in the brain. The cause of RLS is unknown, but research suggests a dopamine imbalance. Parkinson's is caused by a dopamine insufficiency.

"The hope is that Rasagaline, because it prolongs the effect of existing dopamine, instead of producing more, will not come with adverse side effects," said Dr. Shyamal Mehta, an MCG neurologist and neuroscientist. "We are trying to evaluate its safety and efficacy in treating RLS at this point. When it has been used to treat Parkinson's, it's been well-tolerated with few side effects."

Current RLS therapies include a group drugs that work by activating existing , prompting the brain to make more dopamine. The problem, Mehta said, is that those drugs usually come with adverse effects, because dopamine increases feelings of euphoria.

"People taking those drugs often report behavioral problems like addiction, because the pleasure they get from things like shopping is multiplied," he said. "They can cause impulse-control problems, like gambling or as well. They can also cause increased sleepiness and sudden sleep attacks, which can be quite disruptive and dangerous."

Some reports also suggest decreased efficacy after extended use, as well as symptoms beginning earlier in the day.

, which affects 10 percent of the population, is characterized by prickling or tingling in the legs and an urge to move the legs. Symptoms are more noticeable at rest, such as during bedtime or a long car ride. RLS can also cause depression and , Dr. Mehta said, and is linked to conditions including iron deficiency, , pregnancy and Parkinson's.

Explore further: Afferent's P2X3 inhibitor shows 75 percent reduction in chronic cough frequency

Provided by Medical College of Georgia

3 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ridding yourself of Restless Leg Syndrome (w/ Video)

Dec 03, 2010

It makes no sense: You’ve had a long day, and you’re ready for a restful night’s sleep. But as you lie in bed, you experience an uncontrollable urge to move your legs—perhaps accompanied ...

Recommended for you

Ebola isolation at US base 'pretty much vacation'

3 hours ago

With plenty of flat screen TVs, game nights and even an outdoor fire pit, life in isolation for members of the U.S. military who have returned from the Ebola mission in West Africa can look a lot like summer camp.

Chinese-built Ebola center dedicated in Liberia

7 hours ago

China, one of the first countries to send aid to battle Ebola in West Africa, ramped up the assistance significantly Tuesday by opening a 100-bed treatment center in Liberia as rows of uniformed Chinese army ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.