Study Finds Restless Leg Syndrome Has Specific Risk Variants

One thing that many medical professionals are attempting to get their information and data aligned with is specific risk variants and precursors for specific ailments. When particular variants are found this can help understand the overarching framework of the condition and can even give key indicators on how to treat it.

A recent European study was conducted that looked at what type of components or precursors can lead to restless leg syndrome. This condition is chronic and can often get worse over time. Those who suffer from this condition feel unease, pain, or discomfort in their legs. This condition can even lead to other issues such as anxiety disorders, depression, hypertension and even cardiovascular disease.

Risk Variants

The study took the data of over 15,000 patients and included more than 95,000 controls. Within that framework a specific 13 genetic risk variants were found. Dr. Bell, one of the researchers on the study, provided some insight: “Restless leg syndrome is surprisingly common, but despite this we know little about what causes it – and hence how to treat it. We already know that it has a strong genetic link, and this was something we wanted to explore in more detail.”

The process of nerve cell growth and restoration, called neurogenesis, has a lot to do with this condition and points to how the nerves developed in the womb as well as impaired growth later on in life.

The overall development of our nervous system greatly impacts how our nerves work within our bodies. There are certain biological pathways that lead to specific pronounced conditions and can make the likelihood of getting those conditions even stronger. Certain biological pathways lead to things such as specific cancers, asthma and other conditions as well.

Future Studies

Increased clinical testing will need to be done in order to truly understand how each of these variants specifically lead to causation. “The genetic risk variants that we’ve discovered add more weight to the idea that this condition is related to the development of our nervous system,” Bell said. “It also gives us some clues to how we may treat patients affected by the condition. Our genetic findings are an important step towards developing new and improved treatment options for our patients.”

Ideally these types of studies will start to show great links to what does cause these conditions and how to properly treat and manage them. There is so much about restless leg syndrome that is patently unknown for chronic suffers.

Another link that hasn’t been thoroughly extrapolated or uncovered is what very commonly causes pregnant women to experience restless leg syndrome? The added pressure that carrying a baby causes on the body seems like the likely answer, but it would be interesting to find out if the correlation is deeper and more intrinsic than that. Another part of future studies researchers have an interest in uncovering is the basis of the most universally positive treatment option that most will react favorably towards.

The issue with some medications is that while they work considerably for some people, they do not work well for others. Add onto that the fact that side effects, especially when they are severe and interrupt the parts of a person’s day, are less than desirable. It’s an ever-unfolding medical puzzle.