Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) Information and Organizations

Updated February 26, 1999

Under construction

What is Periodic Limb Movement Disorder?

It is a disorder characterized by periodic episodes of repetitive and highly stereotyped limb movements that occur during sleep. PLMD is believed to be related to restless legs syndrome.

Can you describe the movement?

The movement in the leg is the extension of the big toe, while at the same time the ankle, knee and sometimes the hip are partly flexed. These repetitive episodes of muscle contraction lasts from 1/2 a second to 5 seconds with an interval of about 20-40 seconds.

What are the symptoms?

What can be done about it?

First of all, a sleep study (polysomnogram) is done to determine the cause of sleepiness. Once PLMD has been diagnosed, medication can be prescribed to relieve the symptoms.


The Restless Legs Foundation, Inc. is a terrific source of information and referrals.

The RLS Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit agency dedicated to supporting as many as 12 million people who suffer from RLS and to educate the medical community that this disorder is physical and treatable.

Southern California RLS/PLMD Support Group


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