Restless legs syndrome historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mohamadmostafa Jahansouz M.D.[2]


Historical Perspective


  • In 1672, Sir Thomas Willis, a British anatomist and physician was the first to discover the leg discomfort experienced by some of his patients.[1][2]
  • In a 1945, Karl-Axel Ekbom a Swedish neurologist described the disease and presented eight cases used for his studies.[3]
  • In 1995, a large International Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Study Group has been formed. As its first task, the group has taken upon itself the role of defining the clinical features of the RLS.[3]
  • In 2002, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MA, USA, formulated a revised criteria for the diagnosis of RLS.[4]


  1. Byrne R, Sinha S, Chaudhuri KR (2006). "Restless legs syndrome: diagnosis and review of management options". Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2 (2): 155–64. PMC 2671772. PMID 19412460.
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  3. 3.0 3.1 Teive HA, Munhoz RP, Barbosa ER (2009). "Professor Karl-Axel Ekbom and restless legs syndrome". Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 15 (4): 254–7. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2008.07.011. PMID 18829374.
  4. Allen RP, Picchietti D, Hening WA, Trenkwalder C, Walters AS, Montplaisi J; et al. (2003). "Restless legs syndrome: diagnostic criteria, special considerations, and epidemiology. A report from the restless legs syndrome diagnosis and epidemiology workshop at the National Institutes of Health". Sleep Med. 4 (2): 101–19. PMID 14592341.

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