Archive for Scientific Studies Linking RLS and Inflammation

“HIGH LEVELS OF RARE GUT BACTERIA MAY BE LINKED TO RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME” by American Academy of Sleep Medicine

FB_659120359-1160x700

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) may be more prevalent among patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS), according to preliminary findings from a small, new study.

Results show that SIBO was found in all seven participants who have RLS. In contrast, the prevalence of SIBO in the general population is estimated to be no more than 15%.

“We’ve observed extremely high rates of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in the RLS group,” said lead author Daniel Jin Blum, Ph.D., D.B.S.M., an adjunct clinical instructor at Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine in Redwood City, California. “Exploring the relationship between RLS and gut microbial health has the potential to open novel avenues for possible detection, prevention and treatment for RLS and other sleep disorders.”

4af41defdea9b6dbe9b18a711b0d00f6SIBO is a condition in which rare gut-residing bacteria are over-represented in the gut. RLS is a sensorimotor disorder characterized by a complaint of a strong, nearly irresistible urge to move the limbs that is often accompanied by other uncomfortable sensations. These symptoms begin or worsen during periods of rest or inactivity such as lying down or sitting, are partially or totally relieved by movement such as walking or stretching, and occur exclusively or predominantly in the evening or at night.

Low iron in the brain is a key risk factor for RLS. According to the authors, this brain iron deficiency may be secondary to dietary iron deficiency or, potentially, gut inflammation.

Study participants completed questionnaires concerning sleep and SIBO syfdn-95mptoms and took home a fecal collection kit and a SIBO breath test kit. Fecal samples were examined by the University of Minnesota Genomics Center, and SIBO breath samples were evaluated by Aerodiagnostics for hydrogen and methane abnormalities.

Additional study participants continue to be recruited at the Stanford Sleep Center. Further analyses will examine fecal microbial composition, subtypes of RLS iron deficiency, and comparisons with insomnia.

Leave a Comment

Restless legs syndrome brain stimulation study supports motor cortex ‘excitability’ as a cause.

motor-cortex-RLS-466x335Experiments with patients suggest brain stimulation may be a viable treatment

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say new experiments using magnetic pulse brain stimulation on people with moderate to severe restless legs syndrome (RLS) have added to evidence that the condition is due to excitability and hyperarousal in the part of the brain’s motor cortex responsible for leg movement.

The researchers say their findings, published online in Sleep Medicine on May 31, may help devise safer, more effective ways to treat RLS and the chronic sleep deprivation it causes, using electrical or magnetic pulses to calm or interrupt the hyperarousal. Some 10 percent of adults in the U.S. experience RLS at one time or another, and about 1 in 500 report that the condition is severe and chronic enough to interfere with their quality of life, work productivity or mental health, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

People with severe RLS describe symptoms of the condition as an overwhelming urge to move their legs when they are at rest. They may feel pain, or the sensation of soda bubbles in their veins or worms crawling in their legs, with relief coming only when standing or deliberately moving their legs. Long-term effects include fatigue, anxiety and depression, much of it linked to repeated interruption of sound sleep. Standard treatments, which may carry significant side effects, include medications that behave like the neurotransmitter dopamine, opioids and anti-seizure drugs.

Although many conditions, such as kidney disease and diabetes, have been associated with RLS, the neurological roots of the condition have been subject to much debate.

The new study, the Johns Hopkins researchers say, supports the idea that the underlying main-qimg-9add69791e0644077baa40054dfff984mechanism for RLS rests in the brain’s “move my legs” center and makes even more sense of the relief those with RLS experience when they get up and move them.

“Essentially the brain sends the signal when it’s preparing to move a limb, even when you aren’t planning to move, so your body is ready and amped up,” says Richard Allen, Ph.D., professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The only way to alleviate the feeling is to move.”

In the new study, the researchers identified 32 adults with a moderate to severe RLS diagnosis from patients and asked them to stop their treatments for 12 days. They recruited 31 adult matched controls with no history of RLS or other sleep disorders and healthy sleeping patterns as controls. Participants in both groups were an average age of 58, and 59 percent were women.

For the experiments, the researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to apply safe pulses able to selectively stimulate various regions of the brain that control movement of the muscles in the hand or the leg. They then used electrodes attached to the hand or leg to measure muscle responses in that hand or leg during such stimulations in those with RLS and in the control group.

Pairing two pulses as a stimulus can either cause a reaction or suppress/inhibit a reaction in a muscle depending on the timing between the two pulses. The researchers looked at one type of excitatory paired pulses and two types of inhibitory pulses¾short- and long-interval ones.

For each analysis, the researchers took the ratio of the responses. The ratios were greater in the leg for those with RLS, at 0.36 compared with 0.07 for those people without RLS, when looking at the inhibitory long-interval pulses, but not with the short-interval pulses. They said they didn’t see a difference in excitatory pulses in the legs.

brain-optibac-probiotics“This basically means that inhibition is reduced or weakened in people with restless legs syndrome compared to people without the condition,” says Rachel Salas, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins. “The reduced response means that the region of the brain controlling the legs shows increased cortical excitability in the motor cortex.”

In a separate set of experiments measuring the effect of paired pulses given to the brain in the region that controls the hand, they found no real differences in the ratios of either of the inhibitory pulses¾short- or long-interval ones¾between people with RLS and those without the condition.

But the researchers say they did find that the ratios picked up from the hand muscles using excitatory pulses were lower, at 1.01 compared with controls with a ratio of 1.85.

“The measurements from the hand muscles show that the activity in the brain is reduced in the region that controls the hand in people with restless legs syndrome compared to controls,” says Salas.

Salas says that previous research shows that inhibitory pulses are associated with the action of the neurotransmitter GABA, a brain chemical typically known for tamping down activity in the brain’s neurons. The researchers say that since there is hyperactivity in the leg-controlling portion of the brain, it’s possible that cells and tissues there are lacking enough GABA to prevent hyperactivity.

“Other studies with TMS have been done on people with RLS, but they didn’t look at prelab16_Fig6people with severe forms of the condition or at the long-interval paired pulses in the leg,” says Salas. “We are fortunate to have access to such individuals because the Johns Hopkins Sleep Center attracts people worldwide and many who have exhausted treatment options available elsewhere,” she adds.

Salas notes that medications that act like the neurotransmitter dopamine, such as ropinirole or pramipexole, work in the short term but can exacerbate the condition over time. Opioids are effective, but not ideal due to their risk for dependency. With the results of this new study, the researchers are hoping to use electrical stimulation to suppress the brain’s activity, and planning of these studies is in the works.

Additional authors on the study included Aadi Kalloo, Christopher Earley, Pablo Celnik, Tiana Cruz, Keyana Foster and Gabriela Cantarero of Johns Hopkins.

The study was funded by a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke grant (R01 NS075184).

Story Source:

Materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180829115526.htm

Comments (8)

2008 STUDY: Use of Low-Dose Hydrocortisone Lessen RLS Symptoms

CORT-Restless-Leg-Syndrome-Below is another study that supports the idea of inflammation being at the core of Restless Legs Syndrome.

It’s an older study I recently ran across that dispensed low-dose hydrocortisone to a small study group to see if their RLS symptoms would improve. The results of the study showed that symptoms were significantly lessened.

I’ve included an overview of the study below.

I’ve also included an excerpt from a SECOND study that demonstrates the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of hydrocortisone.

AND PLEASE NOTE, this is NOT an endorsement of hydrocortisone as a solution for RLS. It’s simply more evidence supporting the idea that INFLAMMATION is the PRIMARY cause of RLS. Which means, logically speaking, as you lessen your inflammation, your RLS will lessen.

This lessening of inflammation can be done in a natural way through diet, lifestyle, proper digestion etc. It doesn’t have to be a pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory.

STUDY ONEPuzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

“Low-dose hydrocortisone in the evening modulates symptom severity in restless legs syndrome.” Hornyak M1, Rupp A, Riemann D, Feige B, Berger M, Voderholzer U. Neurology. 2008 Apr 29;70(18):1620-2. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000310984.45538.89.

BACKGROUND

Circadian symptom manifestation in the evening and night is one of the main characteristics of restless legs syndrome (RLS). Although the inverse temporal course of corticosteroid rhythm and RLS symptom severity is obvious, this relationship has yet to be studied. We investigated the effect of late-evening application of exogenous cortisol (hydrocortisone) on sensory leg discomfort (SLD), one of the main complaints of patients with RLS.

METHODS

Ten untreated patients with idiopathic RLS participated in the study. Change of SLD was rated on a visual analogue scale during the 60 minutes resting period of the so-called Suggested Immobilization Test. Patients received either hydrocortisone 40 mg or placebo (saline) IV in random order in a double-blind crossover design, with 1 week between the experiments.

RESULTS

Severity of SLD was lower during hydrocortisone infusion than during placebo (p = 0.032). Though blind to the experimental condition, 5 of the 10 patients experienced improvement in symptoms during hydrocortisone administration, but no patient felt an amelioration during the placebo condition.

CONCLUSIONS

Our data indicate a probable physiologic relationship between evening and early night hour restless legs syndrome symptom increase and low cortisol level.

confused-doctorSTUDY TWO (excerpt)

“Low-dose hydrocortisone infusion attenuates the systemic inflammatory response syndrome.” The Phospholipase A2 Study Group. Briegel J1, Kellermann W, Forst H, Haller M, Bittl M, Hoffmann GE, Büchler M, Uhl W, Peter K. Clin Investig. 1994 Oct;72(10):782-7.

ABSTRACT

There is increasing evidence that the hypercortisolemia in inflammatory diseases suppresses the elaboration of *proinflammatory cytokines, thus protecting the host from its own defence reactions.

*A proinflammatory cytokine or more simply an inflammatory cytokine is a type of signaling molecule (a cytokine) that is excreted from immune cells like helper T cells (Th) and macrophages, and certain other cell types that promote inflammation from “Wikipedia Proinflammatory cytokine”

For helpful tips on how to lessen your RLS symptoms NATURALLY, please visit http://www.RLCure.com

 

Leave a Comment

STUDY: MARIJUANA HELPS TO LESSEN RLS SYMPTOMS

cannabisIf you have followed this blog for awhile, or have visited my RLS website http://www.RLCure.com, you know that at the CORE of everything I present is that INFLAMMATION is the cause of RLS. In other words, eliminate the inflammation in your body and you will eliminate your RLS.

There are an ENDLESS number of ways in which inflammation can be introduced into your system, and there are unlimited ways in which it can be removed.

However, the REMOVAL requires a bit of effort and in most cases, a lot of sacrifice.

The articles below highlight how another anti-inflammatory agent has demonstrated success in lessening the effects of RLS.

Unfortunately for many of you, in this case the healing agent is MARIJUANA.

I want to make VERY clear that this post is not about promoting marijuana and endorsing it as a highly effective method to lessen your RLS symptoms. The idea of the post is to again emphasize that the KEY to your SUCCESS is to move towards an ANTI-INFLAMMATORY LIFESTYLE. That means that dietary, environmental, emotional, digestive changes etc. are required – anything that will move you away from continuing the inflammatory cycle that is at the heart of your RLS.

This is a total NON-ENDORSEMENT of smoking pot as a solution from yours truly, a man that has been in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction for over 30 years.

Smoking a DOOBIE may give you temporary relief, but unless you CHANGE your lifestyle, nothing permanent is going to take place. Your RLS will return.

Below are TWO articles. The FIRST one features a scientific study in which 5 out of 6 subjects had their RLS symptoms disappear thanks to the CHRONIC.

The SECOND article focuses on the tremendous anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis.

ARTICLE ONEMedical-Marijuana-Cures

MARIJUANA CAN STOP RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME by Trey Reckling, The Fresh Toast

A small report published in the journal Sleep Medicine from the Bordeaux Hospital University Center in France is posing the question whether or not marijuana may help people with Restless Leg Syndrome to sleep better. The answer to that question is a crucial one for the 10-15 percent of people in the U.S. afflicted with the condition.

It’s easy to take sleep for granted when it’s working. When it’s not, it’s enough to drive you mad.

This is no secret for people who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Even trying to classify the disorder is a challenge because it has crossover effect. It is sometimes classified as a sleep disorder because symptoms such as involuntary muscle twitching and jerking are initiated by inactivity or attempting to sleep. It can also be classified as a movement disorder because people affected sense an almost irresistible urge to move to reduce the uncomfortable sensation. But because the sensations originate in the brain, it could be argued that it is best identified as a neurological sensory disorder.

Regardless, to those who suffer from it, it means lack of sleep for starters. They can have a hard time both falling asleep and staying asleep. That lack of sleep impacts overall health, with negative impact on ability to concentrate, significant increase in daytime sleepiness and significantly lower productivity.

Sleep medicine expert, Dr. Imad Ghorayeb led the study.

mostpopularstrainsSome subjects reported taking seizure medications clonazepam and gabapentin with unsatisfactory results. All subjects reported prior efforts to alleviate their condition with prescription opiates and dopamine agonists for their RLS. They were ready for a new approach because nothing had worked for them or even made situations worse. Two subjects had experienced compulsive shopping and binge eating as a result of using dopamine agonists.

To be fair, there were a meager six subjects in the study. However, 5 of the 6 reported that smoking marijuana relieved their symptoms completely; one reported complete loss of RLS symptoms after using cannabidiol (CBD).

Researchers could not claim to understand why cannabis worked so well in the small group. They do suspect that it is related to the herb’s pain relieving properties and the effect could be enhanced by the sleepiness marijuana can induce.

While the researchers were not willing to fully endorse marijuana for those with restless leg syndrome, they admitted all subjects reported it was the most effective remedy they had tried so far.

Though small scale studies such as this one may not prove anything yet, they do lay important groundwork and interest for more in depth research.

You can read the full article here:
https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/marijuana-can-calm-restless-legs-so-you-can-sleep

ARTICLE TWOimages

CANNABIS FOR INFLAMMATION, WHY DOES IS WORK SO WELL? by Dana Smith, cannabis.net

Medical Marijuana For Inflammation and Swelling Works Wonders

Living a lifestyle that prevents inflammation is necessary in preventing chronic illnesses. This means eating a proper diet high in nutrients and inflammation-fighting foods, getting enough rest as well as regular exercise. Once you do have inflammation, it’s important to address it immediately otherwise it can lead to more serious conditions. Most people actually aren’t aware that inflammation affects almost every aspect of your health: arthritis, celiac disease, cancer, asthma, fibromyalgia, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, and ADD just to name a few. Inflammation can be happening right now in your body, but you won’t know it because it takes years for it to be clinically significant, or until it manifests through symptoms of another disease.

restlesslegHow Does Cannabis Treat Inflammation?

Numerous studies have proven that cannabis is effective in treating inflammation as well as addressing the accompanying pain. This is because of the presence of its 2 major cannabinoids, THC and CBD.

Both THC and CBD are effective in reducing inflammation that is linked to several diseases. But another compound found in cannabis called the beta-carophyllene also affects the CB2 receptor. A 2008 study analyzing mice who had swollen paws and were given oral doses of beta-carophyllene showed a 70% decrease in inflammation. The mice without CB2 receptors didn’t see any improvement.

A study published by the US National Library of Medicine found that cannabinoids control the response of the immune system and works in suppressing inflammatory responses. The human endocannabinoid system has 2 receptors: CB1, which is located in the central nervous system, is responsible for psychoactive effects; and CB2, which is found in the tissues and is responsible for inhibiting inflammation.

Cannabis is also useful in keeping c-reactive protein levels down; high levels of this protein can lead to fatal heart disease. A study published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal revealed that people who smoked cannabis had lower levels of c-reactive protein than those who didn’t smoke. Another study showed that CBD was effective in blocking the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and was also beneficial in providing relief for pain caused by joint swelling. It’s already well known that cannabis is effective in treating chronic pain, which is a side effect of inflammation.

While we now know that THC and CBD work in treating and preventing inflammation, paperthey both work in the body in different ways. Both cannabinoids have demonstrated efficacy in decreasing both the release and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and also works to decrease the activation of LPS-induced STAT 1 transcription factor, which contributes to some inflammatory processes. However scientists find that CBD is much more potent in addressing inflammation, and for this reason high CBD strains are recommended particularly for those who suffer from extreme inflammation. CBD actually supports the concentration of endogenous cannabinoids which gives the body the ability to self-heal and ward off disease.

You can read the full article here:
https://cannabis.net/blog/medical/cannabis-for-inflammation-why-does-is-work-so-well

Leave a Comment

“Acupuncture and Herbs Relieve Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)” by HealthCMi: The Healthcare Medicine Institute

acupuncture1Acupuncture and herbs alleviate restless leg syndrome (RLS). Researchers tested two forms of treatments and the findings indicate that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is both safe and effective for the treatment of RLS. The total effective rate for acupuncture plus herbs was 95.24%.  

Restless leg syndrome (a.k.a. Willis-Ekbom disease) is characterized by a need to move the legs. The symptoms are typically worse at night and tend to lessen upon movement. An uncomfortable feeling in the legs including aching, pulling, itching, and a crawling sensation are characteristic of RLS.

The etiology of RLS is often considered unknown in biomedicine, however, several causes and exacerbating factors are known. Iron deficiency is common among RLS sufferers and is correlated with restless leg syndrome. Peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and kidney diseases are correlated with RLS. Pregnancy related RLS typically occurs in the third trimester and usually resolves approximately one month after delivery. Several types of medications are linked to RLS including certain antiemetics, antipsychotics, antihistamines, and antidepressants.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles, RLS is closely related to Zang-Fu organ imbalances, especially in the liver, heart, and kidneys. Treatment principles including balancing yin and yang, promoting qi and blood circulation, nourishing the spleen, dredging the sanjiao meridian, and regulating the du and ren channels.

Two forms of acupuncture were tested for efficacy: body style acupuncture, eye region acupuncture. Both forms of acupuncture proved effective. The body style acupuncture included needling of the following acupoints:

Baihui, DU20
Sishenchong, extra
Fengchi, GB20
Anmian, extra
Shanzhong, REN17
Shenmen, HT7
Neiguan, PC6
Xuehai, SP10
Zusanli, ST36
Sanyinjiao, SP6
Taixi, KD3
Taichong, LV3

acupuncture2Mild reinforcing and reducing techniques were applied to acupuncture needles of 0.5 to 1.0 inches in length. Stimulation was applied to elicit deqi. Needle retention time was forty minutes per acupuncture session. Ten acupuncture treatments were applied to each participant in a period between ten and twenty days. Eye region acupuncture was applied to the following eye micro-acupuncture points: xiaojiao, liver, kidney, heart. The same frequency of treatment and session duration applied to the eye micro-acupuncture protocol of care.

Herbal medicine was given to participants receiving either type of acupuncture. The herbal formula was based on Jia Wei Xiao Yao Tang and additional herbs were added based on diagnostics. The base formula included:

Mu Dan Pi
Zhi Zi
Fu Ling
Bai Zhu
Dang Gui
Bai Shao Yao
Bo He
Gou Qi Zi
Ju Hua
Shu Di Huang
Shan Yao
Shan Zhu Yu
Ze Xie
Bai Ji Li
Zhen Zhu Me
Gui Ban
Quan Xie
Zhi Me
He Huan Pi
He Shou Wu

Additional herbs were added based on two criteria. For patients with loose stool and undigested food, Chen Pi and Bai Bian Dou were added. For patients with sticky stool, herbs were added and subtracted from the formula. Gou Qi Zi, Shan Yao, and Shan Zhu Yu (Shan Yu Rou) were supplanted with Che Qian Zi, Huang Lian, and Mu Xiang. The herbal formulas for all patients were brewed each day and served in the morning and at night.

RLS_acupointsThe high total effective rate of 95.24% for acupuncture plus herbal medicine treatments indicates that this approach to care is effective for patients with RLS. Acupuncture continuing education research focusing on additional TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) protocols of care will help to codify acupuncture and herbal medicine standards. The influences of du, taiyang, and shaoyang channel blockages on restless leg syndrome are important factors according to TCM principles. Qi and blood stasis affecting these channels due to disorders such as lumbar disc compression, IVF (intervertebral foramina) encroachment, immobility of the sacroiliac joint, and other local concerns affecting acupuncture channels of the legs warrants additional research.

References:
“Eye acupuncture and combined acupuncture and medicine in the treatment of 23 patients with restless legs syndrome.” Qin HJ. (2014). World Latest Medicine Information. 14(36).

“Restless legs syndrome categorization, diagnosis and treatment.” Wang XD. (2006). Chinese Journal of Geriatrics. 25(7): 488-490.

You can read the full article here:
http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1576-acupuncture-and-herbs-relieve-restless-leg-syndrome-rls

Leave a Comment

A Japanese Study Has Found an Association Between RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME and INFLAMMATION

sleepcoverDr. Terumi Higuchi of the Department of Nephrology, Keiai Hospital, Tokyo Japan, headed a recent study to determine if there was an association between RLS, oxidative stress and inflammation in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

The results of the study were published in the August 2015 edition of the “Sleep Medicine Journal” (Volume 16, Issue 8, Pages 941–948).

The study was called “Association of restless legs syndrome with oxidative stress and inflammation in patients undergoing hemodialysis”

In the HIGHLIGHT section of the study, Dr. Higuchi states that “Restless legs syndrome was associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.”

You can read more details about the study here:
http://www.sleep-journal.com/article/S1389-9457%2815%2900746-7/abstract?cc=y=

Leave a Comment

A Turkish Study Reveals a LINK Between RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME and INFLAMMATION

Tezcan KayaDr. Tezcan Kaya works in the Department of Internal Medicine at Sakarya University in Adapazar, Turkey. He headed a study that was recently published in the May 29, 2015 edition of the Japanese journal “Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis”

The article was called “Relationships Between Malnutrition, Inflammation, Sleep Quality, and Restless Legs Syndrome in Hemodialysis Patients.”

Unfortunately for him, the study didn’t turn up the link he was hoping to find between malnutrition and RLS in Hemodialyis patients.

However he did state in the article that “RLS severity is correlated with inflammatory parameters.”

In non-medical terms, what he’s saying is that “when there is a higher degree of inflammation, there tends to be a higher degree of RLS.”

This completely falls in line with the formula I’ve been hitting people over the head with for the last several years:

   “LESS INFLAMMATION = LESS RLS.”

Hopefully someone will pick up on Dr. Tezcan’s findings and do some further testing.

You can read the abstract from the study here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26031339

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »