Update history

This page lists the updates made to the RLSD section of this website: ../.

I established this website in 2004 for the purpose of discussing RLS, but did not put any substantial material on it until 1 September 2011.  The main RLSD page "rlsd/" began then with my plans for this section of the site and links to RLS.org, IRLSSG.org and my page on coffee.

  Feedback and discussion forums
  Spinal injuries and infections
  Genetic or developmental difficulties
  Your own research and comparing notes with others
  About us

Brief summary of my etiological hypotheses and some new observations

  [1] to [7].

Help for sufferers - non-drug techniques for combating RLS/PLMD

    01 - Self-diagnosis, with videos
    02 - Other night-time movements which are not RLS/PLMD
    03 - Ensure your iron levels are good
    04 - Do not drink coffee of any kind, including decaf
    05 - Reduce or ideally eliminate your consumption of caffeine
    06 - Dark chocolate and cocoa seems to worsen or cause RLS/PLMD
    07 - Excessive salt seems to worsen or cause RLS/PLMD
    08 - General nutrition, including Magnesium and Calcium
    09 - Avoiding drugs which worsen the condition
    10 - Sleeping position and keeping warm
    11 - Unusually high or low levels of exercise
    12 - Protein meals and snacks
    13 - Tyrosine capsules or tablets
    14 - Percussive massage
    15 - Other factors and techniques

It is best to avoid coffee, including decaf coffee

Conducting your own research

Summary of new observations
[A] Percussive massage of the mid-lower back.
[B] Percussive massage of the upper spinal region.
[C] Percussive massage of the torso.
[D] Oral tyrosine.
[E] Coffee, including decaf coffee.
[F] Dark chocolate and raw cacao.
[G] Light touch to the foot arch.
[H] Light touch to the palm of the hand.
[I] Local anesthetic on the foot arch or palms.
[I] Cool back, shoulders and arms driving foot movements.

Summary of my new etiological hypotheses
[1]  Recently evolved reflex response.
[2]  This is normally inactivated by a descending dopaminergic pathway.
[3]  This is a modification of the standard foot withdrawal reflex system.
[4]  Symptoms result primarily from the following, potentially aggravated by spinal damage, or genetic or developmental problems regarding these reflex circuits:
(4a) Inadequate dopaminergic inhibition.
(4b) Inadequate opioidic inhibition.
(4c) High enough level of random depolarizations of sensory neurons.
[5] RLS and PLMD are diagnostic categories which arise from a common disorder.
[6] It follows that we can reduce or eliminate RLS/PLMD symptoms by:
[6a] Increasing the activation of the dopaminergic receptors.
[6b] Reducing the level of opioid receptor antagonists.
[6c] Increasing the levels of opioid receptor agonists.
[6d] Reducing the level of random depolarizations in the sensory neurons.

2011-11-29 rlsd/: Updated links to forums mentioning their number of messages in the first four weeks of November, and noting that the RLS Support forum at Yahoo Groups is not suitable for detailed discussions.

2012-04-08 rlsd/: Added some links regarding Vitamin D and Magnesium. 

2012-05-13 rlsd/: Added detailed description of my percussive massage techniques.  Added notes in the "Coffee puts some people to sleep ..." section on how cessation of ingestion of opioid receptor antagonists might result in a short-term increase in opioid receptor activation, including potentially above the level which would occur in the long term without disturbances from the antagonists or anything else.  Put forward the likely date of releasing an updated version of the 32 page PDF and making a directory with suggested experiments from "2012" to "late 2012 or 2013".  Various minor improvements.

Note: links with # characters are to targets within the page.  When you follow such a link, if your browser only shows you the top of the page, please place your cursor at the end of the link's text in the URL bar, and press the Enter key.

2012-06-08rlsd/#2012_06_08a: Added note about encouraging response from an Australian sleep specialist.  rlsd/#2012_06_08b: Added material about foot-tapping in the now-renamed "Other patterns of movement which are not RLS/PLMD" section.  rlsd/#2012_06_08c: Quoted a 24 year old UK man who found that both caffeinated and decaf coffee appear to cause RLS/PLMD.

2012-08-22:  Added a 2280 word brief summary ../briefsumm/ .  Added mention of a second neurologist who wrote an appreciative response.

2015-02-18:  Updated the above to mention potassium, which is not yet on the main page.  I think it will take me a while to research potassium nutrition.  At first glance it seems to be contentious, confused or at least confusing.   I have not been participating in forum discussions or doing much research on RLSD - I have been concentrating on physics and electronic musical instruments.  I have corresponded with a woman who discovered inversion excercises and avoiding coffee in the evening were both helpful.

2015-02-18: Added link to my letter in the Journal of Caffeine Research.

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Contact details and copyright information: ../../contact/
© 2011-2015 Robin Whittle   Daylesford, Victoria, Australia