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Restless Legs and Substantia Nigra Hypoechogenicity are Common Features in Friedreich's Ataxia.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20865356     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Friedreich's ataxia (FA) is a multisystemic degenerative disease, but the prevalence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is unknown. FA patients might be particularly susceptible to develop RLS as FA presents with features commonly associated with RLS, e.g. multisystemic network dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy and disturbances in subcellular brain iron homeostasis. In this work, we assessed the following: (1) the prevalence of RLS; (2) the prevalence of sonographic hypoechogenicity of the substantia nigra (SN), which is known to be associated with idiopathic RLS; and (3) the relation between both in 28 FA patients. Thirty-two percent of the patients suffered from RLS, thus clearly exceeding the prevalence rate in the general population. SN hypoechogenicity was more frequent in FA patients (61%) compared to healthy controls (7%) and was significantly associated with RLS. However, as SN echogenicity also correlated inversely with disease severity, it seems to be related not only to RLS, but also to the neurodegenerative process in FA itself. The high prevalence of RLS in FA patients warrants specific assessment by neurologists involved in the care of FA patients as treatments are readily available. Similar to patients with idiopathic RLS, reduced SN echogenicity is a frequent finding in FA, possibly indicating regional changes in subcellular brain iron regulation in FA.
Matthis Synofzik; Jana Godau; Tobias Lindig; Ludger Schöls; Daniela Berg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cerebellum (London, England)     Volume:  10     ISSN:  1473-4230     ISO Abbreviation:  Cerebellum     Publication Date:  2011 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101089443     Medline TA:  Cerebellum     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  9-13     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Tübingen, Germany.
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