1 <h5>Introduction</h5> The National Institutes of Health RLS workshop (2003) defined the diagnostic criteria. Essential criteria are: (1) an urge to move, accompanied with uncomfortable sensations in the legs; (2) the urge to move or unpleasant sensations begin or worsen during periods of rest or inactivity; (3) the urge to move or unpleasant sensations are relieved by movement; and (4) these symptoms are worse in the evening or night than during the day or occur only in the evening or night. Most RLS patients report difficulties falling asleep ( Montplaisir et al., 2005 ). It is also difficult to maintain their sleep because they awaken with unpleasant leg sensations ( Allen and Earley, 2001 ). As a consequence of frequent arousals from nocturnal sleep, patients often experience excessive daytime fatigue and somnolence. Several double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have demonstrated the superiority of pramipexole, an agonist for dopamine D2/D3 receptor, for the broad range of RLS symptoms ( Partinen et al., 2006 ). Clonazepam is prescribed to improve sleep continuity, because dopaminergic agents sometimes worsen insomnia and induce nausea. Yokukansan (YKS) was developed as a remedy for restlessness and agitation. In Japan, YKS prescription has been approved for patients with
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2010
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