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ThuSep 23

Restless Legs Awareness Day – September 23, 2021

Restless Legs Awareness Day is observed every year on September 23 to raise awareness of this medical condition or syndrome. Willis-Ekbom Disease is a lifelong neurological condition characterized by an insatiable desire to move the legs in order to relieve unpleasant sensations such as creeping, crawling, pulling, itching, tingling, or burning sensations. According to the National Institutes of Health, symptoms typically appear in the late afternoon or evening hours and are often most severe at night. Restless legs syndrome affects approximately 12 million people in the United States.

History of Restless Legs Awareness Day

Restless leg Awareness Day is observed every year on September 23 to raise public awareness about this neurologic and sleep-related movement disorder. On September 23, 2012, the first Restless Legs Syndrome Awareness Day was observed. This is the birthday of Professor Karl-Axel Ekborn, a Swedish neurologist who described this disease in detail in his doctoral thesis in 1945. Sir Thomas Willis was the first to describe RLS in 1672. As a result, restless legs syndrome is known as Willis-Ekbom Disease.

Although it is unclear what causes RLS, particular gene variations, low levels of iron in the brain, alterations in the dopamine system, and certain underlying illnesses such as essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease are thought to be involved.

Although there is no cure, several FDA-approved drugs to treat RLS include Ropinirole, marketed as Requip by GlaxoSmithKline; Mirapex, created by Boehringer Ingelheim; Horizant, produced by GlaxoSmithKline and XenoPort Inc; and Neupro, developed by Schwarz Pharma.

Restless Legs Awareness Day timeline

1672
First Discovery

Sir Thomas Willis is the first to describe restless legs syndrome.

1763
Found in French Literature

More interesting accounts of possible RLS are discovered in old French literature by Boissier de Sauvages, who wrote about ‘Anxietas tibiarum’ and argued that the description met the current RLS criteria.

1945
First Detailed Description

Swedish neurologist Karl-Axel Ekbom describes this disease in detail in his doctoral thesis.

2013
Observation Day Proclaimed

North Carolina declares that Restless Legs Awareness Day be observed by all citizens.

Restless Legs Awareness Day FAQs

What is my body lacking when having restless legs?

One of the most common causes of RLS is iron insufficiency. Several studies have found that iron supplementation can assist to alleviate RLS symptoms. A simple blood test can detect iron deficiency, so consult your doctor if you believe this may be a problem for you.

What is the main cause of restless leg syndrome?

The majority of the time, the cause of RLS is unknown (called primary RLS). RLS, on the other hand, has a genetic component and can be observed in families where symptoms appear before the age of 40. RLS has been linked to specific gene variants. RLS may also be caused by low iron levels in the brain, according to evidence.

How many hours a day should you wear compression stockings?

When you put on the compression socks, they should feel snug but not painful on your skin. Depending on your needs, you can wear them all day (though you should remove them before going to bed) or simply for a few hours at a time.

How To Observe Restless Legs Awareness Day

  1. Research and learn more about restless legs syndrome

    You can start your day by knowing more about restless legs syndrome so that you can help raise awareness. You may even be able to assist someone who has it but is unaware that it is a real sickness with a real name.

  2. Donate

    Another fantastic way to commemorate this day is to consider giving to assist in finding a treatment, as there is currently no known working cure for the illness. (Please conduct your own research before donating!).

  3. Visit a doctor

    Consult a doctor if restless legs syndrome is interfering with your daily life. Share the therapies that have proven to be the most effective for you. You can also utilize the day to get a leg massage or do some light exercise.

5 Surprising Facts About Restless Legs Syndrome You Never Knew

  1. It can be linked to iron deficiency

    The relationship between low iron and restless legs has been extensively researched. According to research, persons who suffer from restless legs have lower-than-normal iron levels.

  2. Your veins may be to blame

    Many patients' restless legs have been traced back to underlying venous problems, according to their doctors. Fortunately, a recent study indicated that non-surgical vein therapy helped 98 percent of individuals suffering from varicose veins.

  3. Its risk can be increased by pregnancy

    Restless leg syndrome affects about one-third of pregnant women, and symptoms are most likely to emerge during the last three months of pregnancy. Although the precise reason is unknown, doctors suspect it is related to low folate and iron levels.

  4. Genetics plays a factor

    Restless legs syndrome is a syndrome that frequently runs in families, with 40 to 90 percent of people affected having at least one close family member with the same condition. The early-onset variant (before the age of 45) is more typically hereditary than the late-onset version (symptoms after age 45).

  5. It can be caused by nerve damage

    A nerve system illness known as peripheral neuropathy can contribute to the development of restless leg syndrome. The disorder is frequently caused by nerve damage caused by an injury, infection, illness, or diabetes.

Why Restless Legs Awareness Day is Important

  1. Start young

    The majority of advance care planning research involves persons over the age of 65. There is now a tendency toward involving and training much younger individuals in order to better prepare them to deal with difficulties in their homes and communities.

  2. Help to understand family history

    If both parents have restless legs, their children are more likely to have them as well: According to new research, family history is a substantial risk factor for the condition. This is encouraging news because a child's family history can assist pave the way to a correct diagnosis. Furthermore, researchers are revealing genetic risk factors for restless legs syndrome, which could pave the way for future study and treatment.

  3. To create early awareness for early treatments

    The day has been designated to educate the general public about this neurologic and sleep-related movement disease. This is to raise people's awareness so that they can seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Restless Legs Awareness Day dates

YearDateDay
2021September 23Thursday
2022September 23Friday
2023September 23Saturday
2024September 23Monday
2025September 23Tuesday

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