Restless Legs Aren't All in Your Head

Roots of leaping-limb syndrome lie at least partly in genes
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 19, 2007 3:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – People with restless legs syndrome aren't imagining the twitching that often keeps them up at night, scientists say, countering claims that the condition is more psychosomatic than neurological. Genetic variations play a role in an ailment one sufferer says feels like “something crawling inside your legs, biting on you,” the AP reports.

Two studies out this week make the genetic link for the first time. Controversy persists over the prevalence of the syndrome, though: One report author who has restless legs himself says 65% of adults may carry the genetic variation, but one skeptic says even the popular estimate of one in 10 is too high; he puts the number closer to 3%.