This syndrome is characterized by the following criteria:
- Restless-Legs in rest (especially in the evening and during the night)
- Uncontrolled urge to move legs / arms
- Problems in getting to sleep and to sleep through
- Severe tiredness during daytime
The fundamental cause for all these inconclusive symptoms are reduced dopamine levels in the central nervous system. RLS has no mental or psychological origin; RLS is 100% of organic nature (less dopamine output in the brain). Therefore, most doctors offer dopamine to decrease the symptoms.
Today, nobody knows exactly, why and how the intracerebral dopamine levels are continuously decreasing. However, there is a genetic predisposition for RLS, but this is relevant for only 10% of all RLS-Patients.
RLS is in Europe one of the most common neurological diseases. Women are more affected than men (60/40 ratio). More than 20% of all RLS-Patients are forced to take the same medications as Parkinson patients have to do. It is well known, that these dopaminerge drugs have a lot of side effects, which most of RLS-Patients don´t want to take.
Therefore, the only alternative to escape from this dilemma is a therapy which helps to increase the intracerebral dopamine output by stimulation of these cells. Regarding the beneficial results from Parkinson´s disease, it was obvious to test Implant-Acupuncture for Restless-Legs-Syndrome as well.
Dr. Rolf Wlasak started a study in 2008 with 97 patients with severe Restless-Legs-Syndrome. All patients took dopaminerge drugs for at least 12 month. All patients suffered from primary RLS. This study was finished in April 2009 and was supervised by the University of Cologne (Prof. Beuth). The statistical evaluation is proved by the University of Hannover and the data will be expected in March 2010.
However, the data before this study revealed a significant benefit for RLS. New data may prove that the insertion of little implants stimulate the dopaminerge cells in the brain and therefore are relevant for Parkinson´s disease and Restless-Legs-Syndrome.