Phantom Restless Legs Syndrome

Alberto Raggi, Raffaele Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Amputees often experience a phantom limb consisting in the vivid impression that the limb is not only still present, but in many cases, painful. These patients may also become restless legs syndrome (RLS) sufferers; conversely, a preexisting RLS may persist after limb amputation. Summary: In this brief essay, papers on phantom RLS (pRLS) are reviewed in order to provide clinical elements for the diagnosis and treatment of this peculiar condition. It is relevant that dopamine receptor agonists yielded a marked reduction of the RLS symptoms in all cases reported. Key Messages: pRLS indirectly confirms the innate capacity of the central nervous system to retain a primordial internal body image responsible of phantom sensations. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that pRLS may provide clues for a better comprehension of some mechanisms underlying phantom pain and for the development of new treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Neurology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Dopamine receptor agonist
  • Pain
  • Phantom limb
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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