Restless legs syndrome in patients infected with Helicobacter pylori

Neurol Res. 2018 Jul;40(7):581-585. doi: 10.1080/01616412.2018.1454704. Epub 2018 Apr 6.


Objective Although the etiology of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is yet to be discovered, some studies have mentioned the effect of infectious diseases in occurrence of RLS. This study aims to determine the association between common Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and occurrence of RLS. Methods In this descriptive analytical cross-sectional study, patients with RLS who were referred to the Internal Medicine Clinic of Fayazbakhsh Hospital in Tehran from September to December 2016 were evaluated. Patients with underlying diseases that would lead to secondary RLS were excluded from the study. The control group were matched with the patients group regarding their age and gender, but did not have RLS or diseases that would lead to secondary RLS. All participants underwent serologic tests for evaluating serum levels of IgA and IgG antibodies against H. pylori. Data were analyzed using Chi-Square test and Logistic Regression with SPSS Software Version 20. The significance level was ≤0.05. Results Fifty-seven RLS patients and 64 healthy controls were included in the study. In the RLS group, 36 participants (29.8%) had H. pylori infection. This number was 27 participants (22.3%) in the control group. Data analysis using logistic regression showed a significant relation between H. pylori and occurrence of RLS (p value ≤ 0.05). Conclusions Results of the present study indicated that infection with H. pylori is related with the occurrence of RLS. It seems that releasing inflammatory factors, iron deficiency, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are some of the involved mechanisms in this pathogenesis.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori; IgA antibody; IgG antibody; Restless legs syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications*
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / etiology*
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / microbiology*
  • Young Adult