restless legs syndrome
Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a common condition of the nervous system that causes an overwhelming irresistible urge to move the legs. The main symptom of restless legs syndrome is an overwhelming urge to move your legs. It can also cause an unpleasant crawling or creeping sensation in the feet, calves and thighs.
The sensation is often worse in the evening or at night. Occasionally, the arms are affected, too. Restless legs syndrome is also associated with involuntary jerking of the legs and arms, known as periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS). Some people have the symptoms of restless legs syndrome occasionally, while others have them every day.
The symptoms can vary from mild to severe. In severe cases, restless legs syndrome can be very distressing and disrupt a person's daily activities. In the majority of cases, there's no obvious cause of restless legs syndrome. This is known as idiopathic or primary restless legs syndrome, and it can run in families.
Some neurologists (specialists in treating conditions that affect the nervous system) believe the symptoms of restless legs syndrome may have something to do with how the body handles a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is involved in controlling muscle movement and may be responsible for the involuntary leg movements associated with restless legs syndrome.