Is there a known relationship between familial/essential/intentional tremor and restless legs syndrome (RLS)? Based on my research, both have some dopamine-related pathophysiology and may have some genetic origin. What percentage of patients has both conditions (or at least a family history of the other condition [e.g., RLS patient with a family history of tremor, or tremor patient with a family history of RLS]). My patient’s father has both tremor and RLS, and my patient seems to have inherited his tremor but presently has no RLS symptoms (although her father’s RLS developed later in life).
—MEREDITH P. HARTLINE, RN, MSN, NP-C, FNP, Austin, Tex.
In a published study comparing this comorbidity (Mov Disord. 2006;21:515-518), researchers found a very high rate of undiagnosed RLS in patients presenting with tremor; 33% of the tremor patients also had RLS. It would seem that patients presenting with essential tremor should be screened for RLS and vice versa.
—Sherril Sego, MSN, FNP (127-3)