Does Restless Legs Syndrome increase cardiovascular risk in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

Marco Angriman, Oliviero Bruni, Samuele Cortese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Preliminary evidence suggests a possible association between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Restless Legs Syndrome with or without Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep. When comorbid, Restless Legs Syndrome/Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep might aggravate Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms. Pharmacological treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder may be associated, at least in some cases, with adverse cardiovascular events, including clinically significant elevation in heart rate and systemic blood pressure. However, the characteristics of patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder at risk for cardiovascular events during pharmacological treatment are poorly understood. Here, we hypothesize that Restless Legs Syndrome and/or Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep comorbid with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder increase cardiovascular risk via imbalance in activity of the autonomic nervous system. Such an imbalance of the could be related to alterations of sleep microarchitecture also detected by cyclic alternating pattern analysis. If empirical studies confirm our hypothesis, the clinician would be advised to systematically screen for and effectively treat Restless Legs Syndrome/Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep even before starting treatment with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder drugs. The management of Restless Legs Syndrome/Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep might reduce cardiovascular risk during pharmacological treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-42
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Volume80
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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