Nocturnal urinary dopamine excretion is reduced in otherwise healthy subjects with periodic leg movements in sleep

Neurosci Lett. 2004 Apr 29;360(3):161-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2004.02.056.


The pathophysiology of periodic leg movements (PLMs) in sleep remains to be elucidated. Among other hypotheses an alteration of dopaminergic function has been suggested. Nocturnal urinary dopamine and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylacetic acid excretion in otherwise healthy subjects with PLMs was significantly reduced (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, respectively) compared to subjects without PLMs. This finding, for the first time, demonstrates a correlate of a functionally relevant hypoactivity of the dopaminergic system in subjects with PLMs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Dopamine / urine*
  • Electrochemistry / methods
  • Homovanillic Acid / urine
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nocturnal Myoclonus Syndrome / urine*
  • Polysomnography / methods


  • Dopamine
  • Homovanillic Acid