RLS occurs more frequently in certain populations, including people with end-stage renal disease, women during pregnancy, and people with iron deficiency. Also, RLS/WED in the elderly and children brings other challenges. Sharing your experiences may be extraordinarily helpful to others.
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Post by Michelle »

I don't know if this topic has been discussed before since I'm new but do any of you have a family member who has RLS? I swear it's genetic since my father had it (he didn't know it at the time or know there was a name for it). I got my RLS from him. He was always bouncing his legs and antsy and constantly on the move. My mother doesn't have it however or any other relatives that I know of.

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Post by ViewsAskew »

Yep. They've even found the possible genes responsible. It can also be caused by other things, though, but many of us come from a long line of those with RLS.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

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Post by Michelle »

Thanks for your response! I thought it was genetic, glad to know they found the gene resposible for it! It makes me wonder who else in my family has it.

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Gene variant for RLS discovered

Post by mackjergens »

copied/pasted from

The RLS Foundation
Gene variant for Restless Legs Syndrome Discovered

The Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation is proud to announce the discovery of the first gene variant that contributes substantially to risk for restless legs syndrome (RLS). This study was supported in part by a grant from the RLS Foundation and was conducted by physician researcher and RLS Foundation Board member, David Rye, M.D., Ph.D. and his collaborators at deCODE Genetics in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The results of this study, headed jointly be deCODE Genetics and Dr. Rye, of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia appear in the online edition of the presigious New England Journal of Medicine and will also appear in print in the August 16th edition of the Journal. Two editorials accompanying this article, as well as one appearing simultaenously in Nature Genetics, speak to the influential nature of this and corroborating findings in Germans and French Canadians. These findings and the technology behind them are ground-breaking, not only to the RLS community, but to the entire field of medicine.

To read more about these findings visit: RLS Foundation Press Release

The articles are presented here:

Article in New England Journal of Medicine

Editorial in New England Journal of Medicine

Article in Nature Genetics (Not yet available online)

The Internet and media is currently buzzing with information on the new findings. The Foundation has included some of these links below. Please check back periodically as these links will be continually updated. Also, please note that these links lead to outside sources and are therefore not necessarily representative of the Foundation or its viewpoints.

Is Restless Legs Syndrome Real? (CNN)

Emory Researcher Finds RLS Gene ( This link includes a video interview with Dr. Rye

Study Shows Restless Legs Syndrome Traced to Genetics (Voice of America)

Researchers Find "Restless Legs" Gene (Consumer Affairs)

Restless Legs Get Respect (Time)

Studies: Restless Legs Snydrome a 'Real' Condition (CNN)

Restless Legs Syndrome May Have Genetic Roots (Boston Globe)

Studies: Restless Legs Syndrome is Real (USA Today)

Gene linked to Restless Legs Syndrome Found (Forbes)

Restless Legs Scientists Find Sleep-Kicking Gene (ABC News)

Studies: Restless Legs Syndrome is a Real Condition (Fox News)

Genetic link is found for restless legs syndrome (Chicago Tribune)

Restless leg syndrome may have genetic roots (Boston Globe)

Gene Linked to Restless Leg Syndrome Found (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Studies find gene linked to night leg movement (Scientific American)

Gene linked to restless leg syndrome (Herald Sun)

Restless legs get respect (TIME)

Is restless legs syndrome in the genes, not in the head? (The Seattle Times)

Scientists Find Genetic Link for a Disorder (Next, Respect?) (New York Times)

deCODE Gene Discovery Points to New Approach for Treating Major Sleep Disorder (CNN Money)

Restless Legs Syndrome: New Gene Clues (WebMD)

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Post by Michelle »

Thank you for this information. I came across this here in the forum not too long ago when I was searching for genetic information. Thank you for posting it again! Lots of information here!

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Re: Genetics

Post by Baffledsilly »

I have a theory that many with RLS immigrated here thinking they could start a new life and leave their woes behind them. Struggling in old world Europe, they probably thought life here would be easier for them. I did same thing actually, moved 3000 miles thinking a change of pace and scenery would help me. Not realizing that it goes where you go, it soon found me again. Only way to fight this is to stand up look it in the face and laugh at it!! Tell it "go ahead, ride my coattails. Just makes my legs stronger." Hahah)

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