Spinal Cord Injury Patients Who Do Not Respond to Conventional Treatment May Have Restless Leg Syndrome

Spasticity and pain are common symptoms after spinal cord injury, and usually respond well to drug treatment. However, some patients do not respond well, creating a difficulty in reaching an accurate diagnosis and treatment program.

Recently, researchers found that closer scrutiny of patients who did not respond to conventional treatment often fulfilled the criteria for restless legs syndrome. Furthermore, these patients also responded well to typical treatment for restless legs syndrome (dopamine agonists). Therefore, when conventional treatment for spinal cord injury fails, clinicians should consider restless legs syndrome as a potential co-morbidity.

Nilsson S, Levi R, & Nordstrom A. Treatment-resistant sensory motor symptoms in persons with SCI may be signs of restless legs syndrome. Spinal Cord. (December 2010).

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