Original Article

Neurological Sciences

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 199-204

First online:

Postural control in restless legs syndrome with medication intervention using pramipexole

  • Aulikki Ahlgrén-RimpiläinenAffiliated withForensic Psychiatry, National Institute for Health and Welfare Email author 
  • , Hannu LauermaAffiliated withForensic Psychiatry, National Institute for Health and WelfareMental Hospital for Prisoners
  • , Seppo KähkönenAffiliated withBioMag Laboratory, Helsinki University Central Hospital
  • , Heikki AaltoAffiliated withDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology & Head and Neck, Surgery, University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Central Hospital
  • , Katinka TuiskuAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central HospitalFinnish Institute of Occupational Health
  • , Matti HoliAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital
  • , Ilmari PyykköAffiliated withDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology, Tampere University Hospital
  • , Ilpo RimpiläinenAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Neurophysiology, Helsinki University Central HospitalInstitute of Biomedical Engineering, Tampere University of Technology

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Central dopamine regulation is involved in postural control and in the pathophysiology of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Postural control abnormalities have been detected in PD, but there are no earlier studies with regard to RLS and postural control. Computerized force platform posturography was applied to measure the shift and the velocity (CPFV) of center point of forces (CPF) with eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) in controls (n = 12) and prior and after a single day intervention with pramipexole in RLS subjects (n = 12). CPFV (EO) was significantly lower in the RLS group (p < 0.05) than in controls. After pramipexole intake, the difference disappeared and the subjective symptom severity diminished. Pramipexole did not significantly influence CPFV (EC) or CPF shift direction. Subjects with RLS used extensively visual mechanisms to control vestibule-spinal reflexes to improve or compensate the postural stability. Further research is needed to clarify altered feedback in the central nervous system and involvement of dopamine and vision in the postural control in RLS.


Restless legs syndrome Postural control Vision