Toward a better definition of the restless legs syndrome. The International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group

Mov Disord. 1995 Sep;10(5):634-42. doi: 10.1002/mds.870100517.


A large International Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Study Group has been formed. As its first task, the group has taken upon itself the role of defining the clinical features of the RLS. As minimal criteria for diagnosis, the group proposes the following four features: (a) desire to move the extremities, often associated with paresthesias/dysesthesias; (b) motor restlessness; (c) worsening of symptoms at rest with at least temporary relief by activity, and (d) worsening of symptoms in the evening or night. Other features commonly seen in RLS include sleep disturbance, periodic limb movements in sleep and similar involuntary movements while awake, a normal neurological examination in the idiopathic form, a tendency for the symptoms to be worse in middle to older age, and, in some cases, a family history suggestive of an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Humans
  • Periodicity
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / complications
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications