DOI: 10.4103/aian.aian_289_23 ISSN:

Initial Cervical Spinal Cord Demyelinating Lesions are not Associated with Restless Legs Syndrome in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Neslihan Eskut, Asli Koskderelioglu, Muhtesem Gedizlioglu, Ozlem Onder
  • Neurology (clinical)



This study aims to determine the prevalence and severity of restless legs syndrome (RLS) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and its association with spinal cord lesions, fatigue, quality of life, and sleep disturbance.


We recruited 222 consecutive MS patients admitted to MS outpatient clinic. Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI), Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and MS Quality of Life-54 (MSQoL-54) questionnaire scores of all patients were measured. Initial cervical spinal cord magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the patients at first clinical evaluation for diagnosis was reviewed for accompanying demyelinating lesions.


RLS was diagnosed in 53 (23.87%) patients. RLS was associated with poor sleep, worse quality of life, increased fatigue, and depressive mood. The sleep quality index, FSS, and MSQoL-54 physical composite scores significantly correlated with RLS severity (P < 0.001, P = 0.001, P < 0.001, respectively). Of the 200 patients, 127 (63.5%) had spinal cord lesions. 22.83% of the patients with cervical spinal cord lesions had RLS comorbidity. We found no significant difference regarding spinal cord demyelinating lesions between RLS positives and negatives. (P = 0.77). In addition, having multiple spinal cord demyelinating lesions did not differ between the two groups (P = 0.84). Besides, the severity of RLS symptoms did not differ in patients who had a single cervical spinal lesion and those who had multiple lesions (P = 0.35).


We have demonstrated the negative impact of comorbid RLS on fatigue, sleep quality, mood, and quality of life in MS patients. However, initial spinal cord lesions did not correlate with RLS comorbidity. The severity of RLS symptoms is associated with poor sleep and physical health.

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