What is the progression of the symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS)?

Updated: Feb 22, 2017
  • Author: Ali M Bozorg, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

In about two thirds of RLS patients, the symptoms progress over time. The severity of symptoms in patients with RLS ranges from mild to intolerable. In addition to being experienced in the legs, sensations also may occur in the arms or elsewhere. RLS symptoms are generally worse in the evening and night and less severe in the morning.

Whereas RLS may present early in adult life with mild symptoms, by age 50 years it usually progresses to severe, daily disruption of sleep leading to decreased daytime alertness. RLS has been associated with reduced quality of life in cross-sectional analysis. [18, 20]


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