Table of Contents
ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2011, Article ID 246157, 5 pages
Research Article

Periodic Limbic Movement Disorder during Sleep as Diabetes-Related Syndrome? A Polysomnographic Study

1Institute of Pneumology, Luigi Sacco Hospital, Giovanni Battista Grassi Street 74, 20157 Milan, Italy
2Institute of Endocrinology, Luigi Sacco Hospital, Giovanni Battista Grassi Street 74, 20157 Milan, Italy
3Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Organs (NESMOS), Sapienza University, School of Medicine and Psychology, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Via di Grottarossa 1035-1039, 00189 Rome, Italy

Received 22 May 2011; Accepted 20 June 2011

Academic Editors: E. Hajduch and M. Tambascia

Copyright © 2011 M. Rizzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMs) is common in the elderly. When quality-of-life drops due to sleep disturbances, we speak about periodic limb movement disorder during sleep (PLMD). Another similar disorder, restless legs syndrome (RLS), is considered to be related to diabetes; RLS and PLMDs are genetically related. Our aim was to detect PLMDs in a population of diabetic patients and identify them as possible hallmarks of these autonomic disorders. Material and Methods. We selected 41 type-2 diabetics with no sleep comorbidity, and compared them with 38 healthy matched volunteers. All participants underwent the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and polysomnography (PSG). A periodic limb movement (PLM) index >5, that is, the higher number of PLMs/sleep hour for the entire night, was considered as abnormal. Results. Diabetics showed lower sleep efficiency than controls on the ESS, lower proportions of REM and non-REM sleep, and higher arousal and PLM indexes, as assessed through PSG. PLMDs were diagnosed in 13 of 41 diabetic patients (31%); the latter showed lower sleep efficiency, lower non-REM slow-wave sleep, and increased arousal and PLM indexes. Conclusion. The relationship between PLMs-related sleep fragmentation and endocrine carbohydrate metabolism regulation might be casual or genetically determined. This deserves further investigations.