Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) is a condition characterized by twitching, flexing, and jerking movements of the legs and arms during sleep. The Periodic Limb Movement Disorder typically occurs every 20 to 40 seconds and may last for minutes or hours throughout the night. Some of the common signs and symptoms of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder include restless sleep, multiple awakenings at night, daytime sleepiness, irritability, and repetitive leg movements in one or both legs.
HOW IS PERIODIC LIMB MOVEMENT DISORDER DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis is based on the clinical history as well as an overnight polysomnogram (PSG). This is a test that records sleep and the bioelectrical signals coming from the body during sleep. A thorough neurological examination should be performed. Respiratory monitoring during the PSG allows one to rule out the presence of sleep disordered breathing as a cause for the disrupted sleep and excessive muscle activity. Occasionally, additional sleep laboratory testing is useful. Blood work may be ordered to check on iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, thyroid function, and magnesium levels.
HOW IS PERIODIC LIMB MOVEMENT DISORDER TREATED?
The treatment of Limb Movement Disorder is mainly medication and lifestyle changes.
DID YOU KNOW?
PLMD is also classified as a sleep disorder as it may cause sleep deprivation and disturbance leading to daytime fatigue and sleepiness.