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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2011, Article ID 872948, 3 pages
Case Report

Restless Legs Syndrome Presenting as an Acute Exacerbation of Multiple Sclerosis

Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA

Received 18 March 2011; Accepted 16 May 2011

Academic Editor: Oscar Fernandez

Copyright © 2011 James H. Bernheimer. 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.


Restless legs syndrome is common in patients with multiple sclerosis but has not been reported as occurring due to an acute, inflammatory, demyelinating attack. Restless legs syndrome is known to be related to low brain iron levels. Multiple sclerosis has been associated with the abnormal accumulation of iron in the chronic, progressive phase of axonal degeneration. Iron deficiency may play a role in demyelination. This suggests that restless legs syndrome may be caused by the inflammatory, demyelinating component of multiple sclerosis rather than axonal degeneration. The author presents a case of self-limited restless legs syndrome occurring as an acute attack of multiple sclerosis, supporting the notion that inflammatory demyelination is the underlying pathophysiology of restless legs syndrome in multiple sclerosis.