April 3, 2011 |
Repeated muscle twitchings in the legs, a phenomenon known as restless legs syndrome, can damage the heart, possibly by interfering with sleep at night, researchers said Sunday. The condition, they found, is linked to a problem known as left ventricular hypertrophy, in which the wall of the heart becomes thicker, making pumping blood more difficult. Left ventricular hypertrophy, in turn, has been associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. An estimated 12 million Americans are thought to suffer from restless legs syndrome, but there is controversy about whether it is a serious problem -- or even a real one. Some recent studies, however, have linked it to specific genes, indicating that it is a physiological phenomenon and not just a minor ailment.
July 21, 2007 |
Scientists have linked certain genes to restless legs syndrome, suggesting the twitching condition is biologically based and not an imaginary disorder. Research in the New England Journal of Medicine, linked a gene variation to nighttime leg-twitching. It involved people in Iceland and the United States. A second study in Nature Genetics identified the same variation and two others in Germans and Canadians with the syndrome.
September 15, 2003 |
So the patient goes to a neurologist. Every night, he tells the doctor, he gets these creepy, crawly feelings in his legs as he starts to drift off to sleep. It's not pain, exactly, but an irresistible urge to move his legs. He gets up, does a few deep knee bends. That helps. The neurologist listens, riveted. But as soon as the patient goes back to bed, the creepy-crawlies start up again. Sometimes, his legs start kicking periodically too.
April 7, 2011 |
For those who believe their twitchy legs are an illness -- there's another pill for that. Restless legs syndrome -- in which creeping and tugging sensations make moving your legs an irresistible urge -- can now officially be treated with a seizure drug. The FDA approved gabapentin, or Horizant, on Thursday after two 12-week clinical trials showed it relieves the symptoms of restless legs syndrome, compared to a placebo. People with restless legs syndrome get the overwhelming urge to move their legs, especially after lying down. The condition is worst at night, and sufferers sometimes have to pace for hours to relieve the discomfort. The cause of the twitchiness is mostly unknown; some suspect genetics is at least partly to blame, but the condition also can occur with diseases such as kidney failure and diabetes and with certain medications. But not all doctors and health experts agree the symptoms are an actual disorder or syndrome worthy of treatment (to the dismay of those with restless legs )
December 23, 2005 |
An institution in San Francisco for the last decade or so, "Christmas With the Webers" can now be experienced by local audiences at the Acme Comedy Theatre. A largely improvisational show about a dysfunctional family's cluelessly tacky holiday celebration, "Webers" features plenty of low humor, high spirits and unmitigated camp, including full-on drag turns in the female roles.
March 30, 2008 |
When a star dies from an overdose, there's a tendency to write it off as "drug abuse." That amazing combination of drugs in Heath Ledger's body, for instance -- what was he thinking? Blame the celebrity, chalk it up to reckless living, a self-destructive lifestyle, a pursuit of pleasure through recreational drugs. But the drugs that killed Ledger -- three types of benzodiazepines, an antihistamine, two pain relievers -- are all substances people take for sleep.