Hospital Study Examines Possible Treatment For Restless Legs Syndrome

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SUMMIT – Doctors at Overlook Hospital are conducting a study to determine if a drug used to treat patients with Parkinson’s Disease can also help people who suffer from restless legs syndrome.

Restless legs syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and the uncontrollable urge to move the legs when resting. Those affected by the disorder report having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, leading to severe exhaustion and daytime fatigue. As many as 12 million Americans suffer from the condition, which is often misdiagnosed or overlooked since it can resemble common conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, stress or aging.


The study at the Movement Disorders Program at Atlantic Neuroscience Institute at Overlook Hospital will seek to determine whether the medication rasagiline is useful in treating restless legs syndrome because of its ability to increase the level of the chemical dopamine, in the brain.

The study is open to adults, 18 years old and older, who have been diagnosed with restless legs syndrome. The study will include completing a physical exam and questionnaires and taking study drug, an oral medication, for 12 weeks. Participants will need to make four study visits, with each visit lasting about one hour, and a brief follow-up phone call two weeks after completing the drug regimen.

The study is sponsored by Tiffini Voss, MD, of the department of neurology at the University of Virginia, who is the principal investigator of the overall study, through a grant from Teva Pharmaceuticals. At Overlook Hospital, Roger Kurlan, MD, medical director of the Movement Disorders Program, is the principal investigator.

For more information or to participate in this trial, contact Dr. Kurlan, or Sandra Wrigley, RN, study coordinator, Atlantic Neuroscience Institute, at 1-908-598-7991.

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