Willis ekbom disease
By Erin Ellis, Vancouver Sun December 28, 2012
It’s characterized by an urge to move the limbs that gets worse at night, or when at rest, and lessens with activity. It has a strong genetic link and runs in families. It appears to be caused by a disruption to the neurotransmitter dopamine in conjunction with too little iron in the blood.
It was called restless leg syndrome, but an international group representing people with the disease voted to change the name in 2011. British physician Sir Thomas Willis (1621-1675) first noted the ailment during his studies of the human nervous system and Swedish neurologist Dr. Karl-Axel Ekbom (1907-1977) named the condition restless leg syndrome.
Treatment for children includes neuropathic pain medication and iron supplements under the supervision of a doctor.
Studies of adults published in the last decade say about five per cent — 10 per cent in one study — of the population in the U.S. and Western Europe has some form of the condition. Results of a telephone survey of more than 10,000 families published in 2007 found about two per cent of
eight- to 17-year-olds had restless leg syndrome.
Children and parents in restless leg studies have described the feeling as:
Legs feel full of energy; funny feelings in the legs, aching.
Throbbing-ache; have the need to want to run; blood racing through legs.
I have to keep moving.
It hurts, I can’t sleep; when I try, my legs tingle and I hurt.
At night my legs tingle and tickle; I want to be still but if I do they hurt my feet.
He says it feels like there are bugs in his bones.
I feel like I need to shake my legs like my dad does.
Fizzy legs; need to kick out, stretch out legs.
Warning signs for parents of small children
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
Kicking or moving around often in sleep.
Too active or too tired during the day.
Irritable or temperamental.
Child complains of aching or tingling limbs.
Learning or behavioural problems.
Note: Other sleep disorders listed on Child Uplift’s website www.sleepdisorders.com include sleep apnea, narcolepsy, periodic leg movement disorder, teeth grinding, bed wetting, night terrors and sleep walking.