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Achievements, challenges, and future perspectives of epidemiologic research in restless legs syndrome (RLS)

In the 20 years since the initial consensus on a common definition for restless legs syndrome (RLS), over 600 scientific reports on epidemiological aspects of RLS have been published. Most are descriptive and address important issues such as prevalence, familial patterns, comorbidities, and quality of life. While the establishment of prospective cohort studies and the use of secondary data sources are rather new to RLS research, both options significantly broaden the possibilities for analysis of disease risk factors. These two options, as well as the inclusion of a broader phenotyping of individual patients, have great potential to elucidate etiologic factors for RLS and expand knowledge about this common disorder. This article summarizes achievements in the area of RLS epidemiology, describes current challenges, and highlights future perspectives in the field.

Authors: Picchietti DL; Van Den Eeden SK; Inoue Y; Berger K

Sleep Med. 2017 Mar;31:3-9. Epub 2016-07-12.

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