Algorithms for the diagnosis and treatment of restless legs syndrome in primary care

BMC Neurol. 2011 Feb 27:11:28. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-11-28.


Background: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 3-10%. in European studies. However, the diagnosis of RLS in primary care remains low and mistreatment is common.

Methods: The current article reports on the considerations of RLS diagnosis and management that were made during a European Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (EURLSSG)-sponsored task force consisting of experts and primary care practitioners. The task force sought to develop a better understanding of barriers to diagnosis in primary care practice and overcome these barriers with diagnostic and treatment algorithms.

Results: The barriers to diagnosis identified by the task force include the presentation of symptoms, the language used to describe them, the actual term "restless legs syndrome" and difficulties in the differential diagnosis of RLS.

Conclusion: The EURLSSG task force reached a consensus and agreed on the diagnostic and treatment algorithms published here.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees
  • Algorithms*
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Drug Therapy
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires