Background and Purpose The purpose of this study was to characterize abnormal cortical activity during sleep in restless legs syndrome (RLS) patients and to determine the effects of treatment with a dopamine agonist. Based on whole-brain electroencephalograms, we attempted to verify alterations in the functional network as well as the spectral power of neural activities during sleep in RLS patients and to determine whether the changes are reversed by treatment with pramipexole. Methods Twelve drug-naïve RLS patients participated in the study. Overnight polysomnography was performed before and after treatment: the first recording was made immediately prior to administering the first dose of pramipexole, and the second recording was made 12–16 weeks after commencing pramipexole administration. Sixteen age-matched healthy participants served as a control group. The spectral power and interregional phase synchrony were analyzed in 30-s epochs. The functional characteristics of the cortical network were quantified using graph-theory measures. Results The delta-band power was significantly increased and the small-world network characteristics in the delta band were disrupted in RLS patients compared to the healthy controls. These abnormalities were successfully treated by dopaminergic medication. The delta-band power was significantly correlated with the RLS severity score in the RLS patients prior to treatment. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the spectral and functional network characteristics of neural activities during sleep become abnormal in RLS patients, and these abnormalities can be successfully treated by a dopamine agonist.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology