Restless legs syndrome (RLS), a sensorimotor disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations commonly localized in the legs, is frequently associated with periodic limb movements (PLMs) during sleep. We investigated the role of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and cortical silent period (CSP) duration as diagnostic and monitoring tools in 20 patients with primary RLS before and after 1 month of treatment and also studied 15 normal age- and gender-matched subjects. Polysomnographic assessment was undertaken and the PLM index determined in 17 of the 20 patients. We also studied the correlation between sleep efficiency index and CSP duration because of the increasing severity of the sleep disturbance and PLMs in patients with RLS. Our results demonstrate that the duration of the CSP was reduced in patients with RLS, and that dopaminergic treatment normalized this duration. There was no correlation between the PLM index and CSP duration. It may be speculated that PLMs and the CSP are due to different inhibitory mechanisms and they may be used separately as diagnostic and monitoring tools in patients with primary RLS.