Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common disorder, frequently of unclear origin, which is
often associated with significant distress. There are a few case reports of atypical antipsychotic agents (AAP) causing
RLS. The pathophysiological mechanisms resulting in emergence of these movements suggest central dopaminergic
dysfunction. Dopamine agonists and L-dopa reduce the symptoms of RLS, and some agents that block the dopaminergic
system aggravate RLS. Genetic influences are implicated in RLS and an association between gene polymorphisms and
antipyschotic-associated onset of RLS has been postulated. Greater awareness of potential causes of RLS, and its
differentiation from akathisia and illness related agitation might help in reducing the distress associated with it and
improving patient compliance in patients using atypical antipsychotic agents.
Keywords: Atypical antipsychotic agents, dopamine, restless leg syndrome.
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