Another Study that Links RLS and Inflammation

science_dailySorry everyone for the lack of posts these past few years. My regular job has been taking up all of my time.

I am going to try and post more regularly. A few times a month hopefully.

Nothing much has changed in the world of RLS since my last post.The RLS Foundation is now Willis-Ekbom Disease Foundation. That’s really going to help.

Back on the planet Earth, there was a new study completed a short while ago that produced some interesting results- supporting my claim that RLS and inflammation are directly connected (I’m always happy when a new connection is discovered … it makes me feel like less of a kook in the eyes of those that believe that science will eventually discover the cause, and a cure).

Here is an excerpt  from the June 13 edition of “Science Daily.”

The Protein Profile of Restless Leg Syndrome

June 7, 2013 — A protein profile of people with restless leg syndrome (RLS) identifies factors behind disrupted sleep, cardiovascular dysfunction and pain, finds research in BioMed Central’s open access journal Fluids and Barriers of the CNS. The research gives insights into the disorder, and could be useful in the development of new treatments.

It is not completely clear what causes RLS, also known as Willis Ekbom disease (WED), but in some people it is associated with iron deficiency in the brain, kidney failure, or low levels of the ‘pleasure’ neurotransmitter dopamine. It can also occur during pregnancy. It affects between 5 and 10% of the population and symptoms, which can range in severity, including sleep deprivation and decreased ability to work can lead to a reduction in quality of life. It is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Comparing the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) of women with and without RLS, researchers from the US and Korea discovered there was a significantly altered level of six specific proteins with RLS. Dr Stephanie Patton from Penn State University who led this study explained, “Our results reveal a protein profile in the RLS/WED CSF that is consistent with iron deficiency, dopamine dysregulation and inflammation.”

Hopefully there will be many more new studies in the near future that point to the obvious connection between RLS and inflammation.

I’m going to start posting some of the testimonials I have received from people that have been successful in lessening their RLS. This will hopefully provide an incentive for readers of this blog (and my website) to give the anti-inflammatory method a try.


  1. sally salkowski said

    Hi Glad your back! Question…when you stray from your diet do you feel results that night or is it a few days later? I have been really good on the diet for months now and have had moments of weakness when I have eaten things like pie…but I have found some of those nights I even sleep better?! Trying to figure this out…right now I’m in a bad cycle where I’m getting next to no sleep. Strange thing is I function great during the day.

    How about coffee…I read that black is really low on the inflammation rating?

    thanks for your help so far…It it really helping me to know you has RLS really bad and beat it. I will take any suggestions you have…my doctor is frustrated with me that I won’t try any drugs, and he keeps telling me how bad it is for me not to sleep…not really helping!

    Thanks again Sally in Michigan


    • rlsottawa said

      Hi Sally

      Sorry to hear that you’re in a sleep funk.

      Whenever I stray (which is quite often) the results vary. Sometimes I pay for it right away, and sometimes there’s no change at all. A lot of it has to do with where your body & mind are at that particular time. I find if there’s a lot of intensity of stress in my life, when I eat pizza or have some cake and ice cream, my legs are more likely to act up. However, because I’ve been working on lessening my inflammation for several years now, the tingling is a small fraction of what it used to be. It’s a nuisance more than an affliction and usually passes quickly.

      I’m not sure about the coffee. I can’t imagine that it’s not inflammatory. I would try and avoid it like the plague in order to generate some sleep. You may just be becoming more sensitive to things like caffeine and sugar. My wife was a big-time coffee drinker, and now even when she has a cup early in the day, she pays for it that night.

      I had suffered from insomnia for many years, even without the RLS. I’ve found that some drops of melatonin and a healthy cup of valerian an hour or so before bed makes a big difference. The valerian really stinks, so you may have to let it seep somewhere away from your family.

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