Restless Legs and Genetics in Families

Familial Restless Legs (RLS)

Familial Restless Legs (RLS)

Dr. Maria T. Bonatil of the Human Molecular Genetics Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Dibit‐San Raffaele Scientific Institute, in Milan, Italy, and her colleagues published an article in the journal Brain, describing the way that Restless Legs (RLS) affects families.

Restless Legs (RLS) Study

Further, they determined that this genetic mutation is inherited in an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern, meaning that you can get Restless Legs (RLS) from either parent, with no need for both to have it in order to pass it ons passed down in families. In this publication, the investigators were able to positively locate an imperfection on a specific chromosome associated with periodic leg movements in sleep (PLMS) and Restless Legs (RLS) in a 30-member, 3-generation Italian family. They note that this is the second genetic mutation identified, to date, that has been linked to Restless Legs (RLS).

The authors conclude that in addition to an important genetic contribution to Restless Legs (RLS), additional modifier genes may be in play, accounting for the different clinical presentations observed within families. These additional influences may also impact other pieces of the presentation, to include: age of onset; severity of the symptoms; and the degree of motor involvement (Brain. 2003; 126 (6): 1485-1492).

In their work, an extensive clinical evaluation of each affected family member allowed for the obtainment of a definitive diagnosis in each case. This work allowed the investigators to determine that the presentation of symptoms varied widely between family members, despite the fact that the genetic mutation was the same in everyone. Additionally, it should be noted that there were some family members that could be classified as carriers of the mutation, without expressing any symptoms of Restless Legs (RLS) or PLMS. Such people would be capable of passing the disease on to their offspring, even if they do not show symptoms of the syndrome.


These findings show that although Restless Legs (RLS) is known to be passed down within families, the extent of involvement is difficult to predict, and the resultant symptoms can range from absent to debilitating. If symptoms of Restless Legs (RLS) do exist, CalmLegs™ may be a great treatment choice to help manage a more healthy lifestyle.

Bradley Gillespie, PharmD
Health Expert, Restless Leg Sufferer

photo 6“My mom, brother and I all suffer from Restless Legs (RLS). We are all seeing results and will continue to use it.

Maria, North Carolina