Restless Legs Syndrome Health Center

For most cases of Restless Legs Syndrome, the cause is unknown. Researchers believe RLS may have a genetic component, as specific gene variants have been associated with the disorder. Low levels of iron may also contribute to Restless Legs Syndrome.

Restless Legs Syndrome is related to a part of the brain that is responsible for producing muscle activity and movement. These pathways are disrupted by RLS which causes the involuntary movement in the limbs.

Although there is not concrete evidence, Restless Legs Syndrome seems to be connected to the following:

  • Chronic diseases such as kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral neuropathy.
  • Certain medications such as anti-nausea drugs, antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants that increase serotonin, and some cold or allergy medications may aggravate symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome.
  • Pregnancy, most often occurring in the last trimester.
Review Date: 
October 7, 2013
Last Updated:
June 2, 2014