A study examining depression in restless legs syndrome.Asian J Psychiatr 2013; 6(4):308-12AJ
Distress is known to occur in RLS subjects consequent to symptoms. However, studies regarding prevalence of depression in RLS are scarce. This study was conducted to find out prevalence of depression in RLS patients and to explore possible underlying factors.
112 consecutive RLS subjects presenting to sleep-clinic were included in this study. History regarding RLS, depression and sleep-disturbances was sought. Depression and insomnia were diagnosed using DSM-IV-TR criteria. Subjects were specifically asked whether they had depressive episodes in past one year. Severity of RLS and insomnia was measured using Hindi versions of IRLS and ISI, respectively. Family history of depression and RLS was also asked.
One year prevalence of depression was 41.8%. MDD was reported by 33% and dysthymia by 8.8%. Both the groups were comparable with respects to demographic and clinical features, viz., age, gender, duration, severity and family history of RLS. Duration, number of episodes and severity of insomnia were comparable between groups, so was the family history of depression. In 37.8% of the subjects with MDD, depressive symptoms preceded RLS while in 51.4% of them, they followed onset of RLS. Total duration of RLS symptoms did not correlate with total duration of depression (r(2)=0.07; P=0.64).
Clinical depression is seen in more than a third of RLS patients. Depression is not affected by clinical picture of RLS and it is not consequent to sleep disturbance. Perhaps, it is a co-morbid condition.