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May 17, 1976

Restless Legs Syndrome

JAMA. 1976;235(20):2224. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260460044024

Except for Current Medical Information and Terminology,1 standard reference sources (eg, a popular textbook of medicine) are unlikely to reward a seeker of information about restless legs syndrome. In like manner, writings on the subject in medical periodicals are comparatively few.

When a practicing physician, uninformed about the malady, is confronted for the first time by a patient who complains of the syndrome, the physician may be mystified. Characteristically, an afflicted person is likely to tell the attending physician that the symptoms are difficult to describe. They are usually most bothersome at night when the patient goes to bed. He may say that his legs feel funny, or heavy (or light) and fidgety. Or, he may resort to saying what the symptoms do not feel like (itching, crawling sensation, warmth, coldness, and so on to the limit of the patient's vocabulary) and will conclude with, "Doctor, unless you've had