Periodioc Limb Movement Disorder: An Overview of Cause, Symptoms and Treatment

Sleep deprivation affects not only daily living activities, but impairs the ability of many Americans to function normally at work thereby decreasing job performance. With most sleep deprivation disorders attributed to general insomnia, there is a growing population of a Americans suffering from what is known as Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. For sufferers of PLMD, the key to recovery lies in the understanding what causes the condition, the symptoms of Periodical Limb Movement Disorder and the treatment options available.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, also known as PLMD, is an uncontrollable movement of the lower extremity, specifically the toes, ankle knees and hips. PLMD most often occurs in a repetition, lasting up to 40 seconds with breaks from several minutes to several hours. As a result, several periods of sleep deprivation occur during the evening and may be only a variance in sleep known as microarousals, leaving the PLMD sufferer extremely fatigued the following day.

Treatment of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder begins with a sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, to confirm the diagnosis. Generally performed in a sleep study center, the polysomnogram monitors the frequency of movement, while sleeping, and the activity of the brain during such movement. In doing so, the sleep center is better equipped to rule out other sleep related disorders including Restless Leg Syndrome or a disorder or organic origin.

Once confirmed as Periodic Limb Disorder, medications are generally prescribed to aide in improving the sleep process. Perscription medication smay include a dopamine regulation drug to control the involuntary body movements. Additionally, the patient may be prescribed special sleep supplies including bite guard, change in quality of mattress and prescribed sleep improvements pillows.

With as many as 12 million people suffering from Periodical Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), the impact on society in terms of job performance, intimacy and the ability to perform daily living activities is taking a toll. For sufferes of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, the key is to obtain proper diagnosis and treatment as recommended by a sleep center specializing in PLMD and other sleep deprivation related conditions. By doing so, a better quality of sleep will be obtained ensuring a return to an almost normal sleep pattern and a better quality of life for the Periodic Limb Movement Disorder patient.

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