Journal of Neurology

, Volume 249, Issue 2, pp 164–170

SPECT imaging of striatal pre- and postsynaptic dopaminergic status in restless legs syndrome with periodic leg movements in sleep

  • Martin Michaud
  • Jean-Paul Soucy
  • Allal Chabli
  • Gilles Lavigne
  • Jacques Montplaisir
ORIGINAL COMMUNICATION

DOI: 10.1007/PL00007859

Cite this article as:
Michaud, M., Soucy, JP., Chabli, A. et al. J Neurol (2002) 249: 164. doi:10.1007/PL00007859

Abstract

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common sleep-related disorder principally characterised by leg paresthesia associated with an irresistible urge to move. A majority of RLS patients experience periodic leg movements during sleep (PLMS) and wakefulness. Pharmacological evidence suggests that RLS-PLMS may be caused by a central nervous system dopaminergic (DA) dysfunction. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the striatal pre- and postsynaptic DA status in patients suffering from both RLS and PLMS, by means of [123I]b-CIT and [123I]IBZM SPECT respectively. Ten drug-naïve patients and ten age-matched controls participated in this study. All participants were recorded for at least one night of polysomnography before the SPECT studies. No difference was seen in DA transporter ([123I]b-CIT) binding between RLS-PLMS patients (MD=4.89) and controls (MD=4.81; p=0.81). The study of the striatal D2-receptor binding ([123I]IBZM) revealed a significantly lower binding in patients (MD= 1.72) compared with controls (MD=1.85; p=0.006). These results support the hypothesis that a central DA dysfunction is involved in the physiopathology of RLS-PLMS. Several mechanisms may be responsible for the decrease of the D2-receptor binding. However, since [123I]b-CIT binding is normal, a decreased number of D2-receptors or a decreased affinity of D2-receptors for [123I]IBZM is more likely than an increased level of synaptic DA with attendant down-regulation of D2-receptors.

Key words restless legs syndrome (RLS)periodic leg movements during sleep (PLMS)single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)dopamineD2-receptors

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Michaud
    • 1
  • Jean-Paul Soucy
    • 2
  • Allal Chabli
    • 4
  • Gilles Lavigne
    • 3
  • Jacques Montplaisir
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de Psychiatrie, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, CanadaCA
  2. 2.Département de Médecine Nucléaire, CHUM – Hôpital Notre-Dame, Montréal, CanadaCA
  3. 3.Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Université de Montréal, CanadaCA
  4. 4.Centre d'étude du sommeil et des rythmes biologiques, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, 5400 boul. Gouin Ouest, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H4J 1C5, Tel.: 0 01-5 14/3 38-26 93, Fax: 0 01-5 14/3 38-25 31, E-Mail: j-montplaisir@crhsc.umontreal.caCA