Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: restless legs syndrome

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 19 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7615
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

All roads lead to neurology, today’s repository for the medically unexplained. Consider the rise of partial epilepsy, tremor, sleep disorders, atypical migraine, complex regional pain syndromes, and paraesthesia, for example. These conditions have limited pathological basis, few objective tests, and are based on symptoms that patients report themselves. The truth is that what we really know about the higher functioning of the brain can be written on the back of a large postage stamp.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is deemed a common and serious neurological syndrome that affects 10% of the population,1 with 2-3% …

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