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Future Directions in RLS Research

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease (WED), is a neurologic disorder that is estimated to affect 5% of the general population and up to 10% of those age 65 and older. RLS results in an irresistible urge to move the legs which is often accompanied by unusual or unpleasant sensations in the legs that may be described as creeping, tugging, or pulling. Because RLS most often occurs in the evening, it can severely disrupt sleep and reduce quality of life.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for RLS, nor is there one drug which works for everybody.  We have some ideas about the cause of RLS, but we have miles and miles left before we reach a level of understanding of this disease and miles more again before we will be able to predict or prevent occurrence of the disease.  Hope exists for progress in our knowledge of the source and treatment of RLS – the answers lie in research.  Every day, research uncovers new information that promises to improve the lives of those with RLS. 

Three basic areas of research will likely produce the most important outcomes in our understanding of RLS: 

To learn more about how you can make a difference in advancing RLS research, contact Katie Norton with the Johns Hopkins Development Program at 410-516-4952 or

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To make an appointment with one of our Restless Legs Syndrome physician specialists, please call  410-550-0571.
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Pediatric Neurosurgery: 410-955-7337


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