Document Detail

Transient Willis-Ekbom's disease (restless legs syndrome) during pregnancy may be caused by estradiol-mediated dopamine overmodulation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23257652     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Willis-Ekbom's disease (WED), formerly called restless legs syndrome, is more common in pregnant than in non-pregnant women, implying that the physiological and biochemical changes during pregnancy influence its development. During pregnancy, many hormone levels undergo significant changes, and some hormones significantly increase in activity and can interfere with other hormones. For example, the steroid hormone estradiol interferes with the neuroendocrine hormone dopamine. During pregnancy, the activity of the thyroid axis is enhanced to meet the increased demand for thyroid hormones during this state. Dopamine is a neuroendocrine hormone that diminishes the levels of thyrotropin and consequently of thyroxine, and one of the roles of the dopaminergic system is to counteract the activity of thyroid hormones. When the activity of dopamine is not sufficient to modulate thyroid hormones, WED may occur. Robust evidence in the medical literature suggests that an imbalance between thyroid hormones and the dopaminergic system underpins WED pathophysiology. In this article, we present evidence that this imbalance may also mediate transient WED during pregnancy. It is possible that the main hormonal alteration responsible for transient WED of pregnancy is the excessive modulation of dopamine release in the pituitary stalk by estradiol. The reduced quantities of dopamine then cause decreased modulation of thyrotropin, leading to enhanced thyroid axis activity and subsequent WED symptoms. Iron deficiency may also be a predisposing factor for WED during pregnancy, as it can both diminish dopamine and increase thyroid hormone.
José Carlos Pereira; Ingrid Ramos Rocha E Silva; Márcia Pradella-Hallinan
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-12-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medical hypotheses     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1532-2777     ISO Abbreviation:  Med. Hypotheses     Publication Date:  2012 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-21     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505668     Medline TA:  Med Hypotheses     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Faculdade de Medicina de Jundiaí, Rua Francisco Telles, 250, ZC 13 202 550 Jundiaí, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address:
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Previous Document:  Leucocyte esterase in the rapid diagnosis of paediatric septic arthritis.
Next Document:  Escin Inhibits Type I Allergic Dermatitis in a Novel Porcine Model.