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Restless Leg Linked to Chromosome Six -- At Least

Restless Leg Linked to Chromosome Six -- At Least

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, July 18 -- A major symptom of restless legs syndrome has been associated with a genetic variation on chromosome six, two research groups reported.

The variation has been linked to about half the risk of one of the major symptoms of restless legs syndrome, defined as the periodic limb movements in sleep that are commonly but not exclusively seen in RLS, according to Kari Stefansson, M.D., Ph.D., of deCODE Genetics here.

Using genome-wide association scanning to study patients with RLS, Dr. Stefansson and colleagues found that a genetic variation called rs3923809 accounts for about half the population attributable risk of having periodic limb movements in sleep.

On the other hand, it was not linked to RLS if patients did not also have the periodic motions when they were asleep, he and colleagues reported online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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