Periodic Limb Movement Disorder – Everything You Wanted Know

By on April 14, 2015

PLMD or Periodic Limb Movement Disorder is a condition which was formerly known as nocturnal myoclonus or sleep myoclonus. The condition is generally detailed as repetitive movements of the limb that usually occur while a person sleeps and they cause major sleep disruption.

Limb movements generally involve lower extremities including the flexion of the ankle, extension of the big toe, the hip and the knee. However, there are patients who can also suffer from limb movements occurring in upper extremities.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

Causes of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

The exact cause of PLMD is not known but there are certain medications that can worsen this condition. Such medications include certain antidepressants, antipsychotics and antihistamines.

This is a condition that is also common in people suffering from restless leg syndrome, REM behavior disorder and narcolepsy.

Other causes of PLMD include Parkinson’s disease and obstructive sleep apnea. It is to be noted in this respect that the causes for PLMD are still unknown and therefore proper diagnosis is very important for people who tend to suffer from PLMD.

Symptoms Of PLMD

Some of the most common symptoms associated with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder include limb jerks, frequent awakening from sleep, daytime fatigue, daytime sleepiness and non-restorative sleep.

The limb jerk symptom is something that is not noticeable by the patient but by his or her bed partner. Symptoms should immediately be taken care of in order to get the best treatment available.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder Treatment

The best treatment for PLMD is avoiding the use of certain medications and products. Caffeine should be completely avoided because it intensifies the symptoms of PLMD. Products containing caffeine like coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolates should also be avoided.

There are different categories of drugs used for treating PLMD and they include anticonvulsant medications, narcotics, benzodiazepines and dopamine agonist. Medical treatment for PLMD significantly eliminates and reduces PLMD symptoms.