Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome
Is there a theory as to what is happening in the body to produce the symptoms of RLS?
The results of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electrophysiologic studies suggest that RLS and associated PLMS may occur as the result of a central nervous system (CNS) abnormality originating deep in the brain (subcortical structures). There is also some evidence of dopaminergic dysfunction. More specifically, it has been proposed that RLS may be due to decreased dopaminergic activity in the central nervous system (CNS) at the subcortical level or perhaps at the level of the spinal cord. Recent research studies showed a disinhibition of the flexor reflex during sleep in people with RLS. Additionally, the beneficial effects of treatment with opioids suggest possible involvement of the endogenous opiate system, although this may be an indirect effect of the opiate system on the dopaminergic system.