- A study found that people with restless leg syndrome had a greater risk of suicidal thoughts.

A study found that people with restless leg syndrome had a greater risk of suicidal thoughts.

The research team, from the University of Bell Medical School in Connecticut, says it does not know why the syndrome causes people to think about suicide, but says the results show doctors need to monitor their patients closely to detect signs of suicidal tendencies early on.The neurotransmitters, which constantly move the legs, make the person nearly three times more likely to think about suicide, the researchers say.
RLS is a condition that causes disorientation in the sufferers, causing them to move their legs continuously because of the discomfort, often known as trembling.
Symptoms are often more severe at night, when a person is sitting or lying in bed, which means that patients are unable to sleep well at night.
Dr Brian Ko, a professor of neuroscience at Bell University School of Medicine, believes it is quite possible that bad sleep can lead to depression and thus suicide.

To look closely at the psychosocial effect of the syndrome, Ku and his colleagues studied 192 patients and a comparison group of 158 people without the syndrome, aged 18 to 89 years.
The groups filled out questionnaires on syndrome, sleep, depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior, as well as a range of demographic and health factors.
The results found that patients with leg syndrome were 2.8 times more likely to think about suicidal behavior. They are more likely to be suicidal if their leg syndrome is severe or very severe or if they also suffer from depression.Even after calculating depression and other factors, the researchers found that 27% of people with restless leg syndrome had thoughts or suicidal behavior compared to 7% of the second group, whose participants did not have symptoms of the syndrome.
"The new study is consistent with modern theories that show the link between sleep disorder and suicidal thinking," said Dr. Peter Frantzen, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not part of the study.
The new study did not clarify whether the link between the syndrome and suicide was related to the mechanism of sleep or something else unknown, which requires further studies.

Source: University of Bell Medical School in Connecticut

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