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Polysomnography Findings in Patients with Restless Legs Syndrome: by the way of a case


Sleep disturbances and their sequelae are the most common complaints of patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS). The consequences of chronic sleep loss have been investigated intensively in recent years.


Describe sleep disorders caught on polysomnography in a patient with restless leg syndromes and do a literature review about restless legs syndrome.


The study was conducted from the examination analysis of a patient who underwent polysomnography in the sleep laboratory of a school hospital.


SDS, 72 years old, presents alterations of the sleep-wake cycle. Evaluation in the pre-sleep questionnaire, the patient answered positively to the 4 diagnostic criteria defined by the International Restless Leg Syndrome Study Group. Polysomnography result was consistent with increased sleep latency for non-REM and REM. Presented fragmented sleep and importante increased wakefulness after sleep onset and consequent reduction in sleep efficiency. It also presented a slight change in sleep architecture at the expense of increased N2 phase content, and reduced REM sleep content. The alteration of REM sleep, with reduction of REM sleep duration and increase of REM sleep latency, is a novel finding. It might have occurred as a consequence of sleep interruptions which were in turn due to the nocturnal occurrence of RLS symptoms. The consequences of chronic sleep loss have been investigated intensively in recent years. Chronic sleep deprivation, as in untreated RLS, may lead to increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes or to impairment of sleep-dependent memory consolidation. Prefrontal cognitive deficits similar to those reported for loss of one night of sleep were shown recently in patients with RLS.


The findings show markedly fragmented sleep with deterioration of both NREM and REM sleep in RLS. The long-term consequences of sleep loss in this patient population should be investigated further.


restless leg syndrome, sleep disorders, REM sleep


Relato de Caso


Hospital Universitário Oswaldo Cruz - Pernambuco - Brasil


Thaís Lins Gemir, Clélia Maria Ribeiro Franco, Hercília Xavier, Sofia Neves Pinheiro