-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
THURSDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- An international team of
researchers has identified two genetic regions that seem to be
implicated in restless legs syndrome.
Restless legs syndrome is a condition in which people experience
a tingling or "creepy crawly" feeling in the legs, relieved only by
movement. One of the most common neurological diseases, the
syndrome can lead to chronic sleep loss, daytime fatigue and even
In the new study, scientists from Europe, Canada and the United
States analyzed genetic sequence variants in nearly 5,000 people
suffering from restless legs syndrome along with more than 7,000
people who did not have the condition.
The researchers found two new genetic regions that play a role
in the syndrome. One of the regions is within a gene involved in
regulating brain activity, known as TOX3, according to the report
published online July 14 in
Although the exact connection between TOX3 and restless legs
syndrome remains unclear, it's known that the TOX3 protein protects
neuronal cells from death, Juliane Winkelmann, of the Institute of
Human Genetics at the University of Technology in Munich, and
colleagues noted in a news release from the journal's
Restless legs syndrome can strike at any age, although it is
more common among people aged 65 and older, the study authors noted
in the news release.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
provides more information on
restless legs syndrome.
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