Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

PLMD stands for Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, though many people call it periodic leg movement disorder. This isn’t the worst thing ever since it primarily effects the legs (sorry arms)

To get a diagnosis of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) you will need to see a sleep specialist and have a Sleep Study (Nocturnal Polysomnograph.) During a sleep study electrodes are placed on the front of your shin. They’re placed over the Anterior Tibialis so that when you move your leg, they are triggered and we (sleep techs) get a signal. For a PLMD diagnosis the leg movements must:

1. Last at least 0.5 seconds, but no longer than 10 seconds.
2. Occur during sleep.
3. Not occur during a sleep disordered breathing event.
4. Movements must be separated by at least 5 seconds, but no more than 90 seconds. You need 4 movements without arousals or sleep disordered breathing which counts as 1 PLM. An index of 5.0 PLM (per hour of sleep) get a diagnosis of PLMD.

Confusing? You betcha!!!! How about a picture. It’s worth at least a couple of words……

PLMSTo the left is a 2 minute segment. The patient is in sleeping. The spikes in the L-Leg-R-Leg channel are leg movements. They are about 15-30 seconds apart. No sleep disordered breathing is present. No arousals are present. This is a clear example of Period Limb Movement Disorder.

Medications that can TREAT: Dopaminergic Agents, Opioids, Benzodiazepines, and Anticonvulsants are the four classes of drugs used to treat PLMD (and RLS). The best option to try first is 10mg of over the counter Manganese. This supplement can be highly effective at calming your legs when trying to get to sleep. The same can be said of Magnesium, though it is more plentiful in most diets. Give it a try as well.

Typically PLMD is usually not treated with medication unless Restless Leg Syndrome has also been diagnosed.

error: Content is protected !!