Association of pain, Parkinson's disease, and restless legs syndrome.J Neurol Sci. 2013 Apr 15; 327(1-2):32-4.JN
Many patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS) and Parkinson's disease (PD) report having pain, however, the impact of the combination of PD and RLS on pain has not been analyzed extensively. The objective of this study was to explore the potential relationship between RLS and pain in individuals with and without PD, the prevalence of RLS in PD, the prevalence and severity of pain in PD and RLS, and how these measures are related to PD patients and controls.
The study included 127 PD patients and an equal number of non-PD patients who were assessed for pain and RLS-like symptoms by using RLS diagnostic survey, RLS rating scale and Brief Pain Inventory.
The results showed that 21.3% of PD patients had RLS, compared to only 4.7% in the control group, representing a highly significant difference (p<0.005). The frequency of reporting pain was also significantly higher among PD patients with RLS (p<0.005), but not in control group. However, the mean difference in average pain severity was not significantly different between the PD with RLS and non-PD with RLS, nor was the pain level and severity significantly correlated with RLS severity for either group.
The presence of pain in PD patients may be exacerbated by RLS or in RLS patients, having PD may exacerbate pain.