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Clinical and polysomnographic features of a large Turkish pedigree with restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movements

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Restless leg syndrome (RLS) and periodic limb movements (PLMS) are common neurological diseases often associated with insomnia. A familial aggregation in RLS has been identified since it was first described; however, inheritance patterns of RLS/PLMS are poorly understood and their exact pathophysiology is not well-known. We have identified a Turkish pedigree with RLS/PLMS, which is a rare condition, in five generations of a family, including nine affected family members.


A detailed clinical evaluation of the family was conducted with the help of polysomnographic recording, electrophysiological findings, and biochemical parameters.


The proband is a 38-year-old male member of the family who first started to show symptoms at the age of 29. All the patients from this family have been diagnosed with RLS, according to the criteria of the International RLS Study Group. Disease onset was early in all cases and even earlier in the younger generation. Three affected individuals also had PLMS on polysomnographic recordings.


To our knowledge, this is the first Turkish family in which nine individuals in five generations are affected. We suggest an important effect of anticipation and genetic impact of the diseases and describe specific clinical features. Further investigation of clinical, genetic, and biochemical similarities between PLMS and RLS may yield important clues, adding to our understanding of the pathophysiology of these common diseases.

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The authors thank the participating family members for their collaboration and Marianne Abrams for language editing.

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Correspondence to Ebba Lohmann.

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Babacan-Yildiz, G., Gürsoy, E., Kolukisa, M. et al. Clinical and polysomnographic features of a large Turkish pedigree with restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movements. Sleep Breath 17, 741–746 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-012-0756-5

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  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • Periodic limb movements (PLMS)
  • Genetics
  • Polysomnography
  • Turkey