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Comment & Response
April 2015

Restless Genital Syndrome—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Center, Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(4):479-480. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.23

In Reply We appreciate the interest in our case published in JAMA Neurology.1Persistent sexual arousal syndrome was originally described in 2001 as a new disturbance of female sexuality. The initial definition was “a persistent sexual arousal in the absence of conscious feelings of sexual desire.”2 In 2003, persistent sexual arousal syndrome was included as a provisional diagnosis by an international committee of experts in women’s sexual dysfunctions and redefined as follows: spontaneous, intrusive, and unwanted genital arousal (eg, tingling, throbbing, and pulsating), which occurs in the absence of sexual interest and desire.3 The new concept emphasized a genital sensory abnormality rather than a sexual desire; thus, the condition was renamed persistent genital arousal disorder.4 This nomenclature is still widely used among gynecologists; however, since 2009, the association between persistent genital arousal disorder and restless leg syndrome (RLS) has been increasingly recognized, and the name has shifted to restless genital syndrome (RGS).5 In all of the conditions aforementioned, patients report their symptoms as congestion, tingling, wetness, and throbbing, although typically they indicate that the unpleasant sensation in their genitals and pelvis is extremely difficult to describe. In addition, genital contractions and pain are commonly reported.4