Periodic limb movements in sleep are also known as or subsume Nocturnal myoclonus. -ed.
Periodic limb movements in sleep consist of flexion movements at the ankles, knees and hips, and sometimes the arms recurring every 5 to 90 seconds, especially during light NREM sleep stages. Though an almost obligate accompaniment of the restless legs syndrome and frequent association of various neurologic and physical diseases, they are, however, also widely prevalent among the general population. In this recently updated clinical summary, Dr. Giovanni Rizzo and Professor Pietro Cortelli examine the clinical significance of periodic limb movements in sleep and the recent advances in understanding the pathophysiology of this disorder. They review the treatment options now available, emphasizing that among the different therapeutic strategies, dopaminergic agents in particular have been shown effective in controlled trials. Finally, they discuss the possible role of periodic limb movement disorder as a cardiovascular risk.