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Restless Legs at Night

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Does anyone know what can help restless legs. My son constantly has to move his legs at bedtime, and I know he'd enjoy laying there peacefully while trying to fall asleep. I was wondering if anyone knows of a supplement, etc. that could help with this? Had his iron checked and it is okay.

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have you tried Epsom Salts bath with chamomille tea to try to sooth him before bed?


even Epsom Salts foot baths can have a very soothing effect.


also, massaging his feet before he falls asleep....especiallyaround the balls of the feet and the toes.


I know zinc deficiency can cause leg pain etc at night so maybe look into that too


there is a disorder known as Restless Leg Syndrome, but I think that affects adults more than children.

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Hi Kalik,

You know, I was going to make a post about just this thing today, if only to just give some credence to the diet as having something to do with alleviating certain symptoms. (not just tics, but other ailments as well).


I have had this "restless leg syndrome" for years, and it's just something I deal with. But I noticed that it would be worse on a night where I had consumed alchohol, most notably red wine.


Now last month I went on a little "fasting" diet as I wanted to fit into a slinky dress a little better for an upcoming wedding. During that time I noticed I did not have the restless legs at night hardly at all. And I have been trying to eat well since the fast (but not always :huh: ) and have since given up tea and milk altogether. WELL, the last couple of nights I have had a cup of ice cream, and........Hello restless legs! It was pretty bad last night, so putting two and two together, I am really feeling consuming dairy is something that is possibly making it worse.


So really I just wanted to put this out there to point out that there is something to this diet/symptom connection (even if some of us cannnot totally relate it to tic symptoms) and so I just wanted to tell of my experience even though it is not about tics. I hope this can help someone who has certain symptoms such as this or headaches, etc. and wondering if something in their diet could be contributing to it.


So my advice is perhaps looking at something your son is consuming, especially on the nights that it is pretty bad--does he eat dairy, especially milk and ice-cream? Perhaps you could experiment with that.


As far as supplements, I have read folic acid could help, but not sure how much you'd have to take. There is a homeopathic remedy on the shelves of the healthfood stores lke the Vitamin Shoppe called "Restfull Legs" by Hyland products and i used to keep it on my night table and take a few (chewables) when it was bad, but I can't attest to it being a miracle product, but perhaps it is worth a try and may help your son, you never know. Really, I am leaning more toward eliminating a food group.


P.S. Bonnie Grimaldi does state that restless legs is on the spectrum of tics/ts.


Hope this helps, and please let us know what you try and if it helps.



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I'm giving him 300 milligrams of magnesium taurate every day because he was clearing his throat loudly! It has reduced that considerably. He's off all milk products and drinks rice milk. This stopped his considerable eye rolling tic. We've sharpened up even more on additives and food colors, etc. He was tested for several things, one of them being his zinc levels which were allright. He was tested for candida, blood test, but I want to do a stringers test on him soon. He's another one who goes to the bathroom frequently. I give him a little liquid magnesium in warmed decaffinated tea before bed to help him relax. That might be backfiring on us! Of course the least little thing he drinks seems to go right through him! Can't remember if the doctor tested him for folic acid or not. If I give him an epsom salt bath before bed, which I believe has magnesium in it, do I have to worry about his magnesium intake during the day? Thanks everyone for your continued input.

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Just wanted to add my thoughts. I have had restless leg syndrome for many years (and my grandma had it too... just thinking about the genetic link and wondering if this could be the link to my daughter's tics). They are worse if I stay up too late, and they were horrible when I was in my third trimester of pregnancy. In fact, I had a double whammy of RLS and insomnia during that time. Not fun.


Anyway, a few months ago as I was reading up on my daughter's supplements, I noticed that magnesium might help me with restless sleeping and tight muscles, mostly in my neck and shoulders. So, I started taking magnesium citrate (Kids Calm) and it has changed my life! I sleep really well again, the way I used to when I was younger. My neck and shoulders don't feel like boulders. And I don't get restless legs anymore. Sometimes I have to take an extra dose of it during the day if I notice stiffness or a funny feeling in my legs, but then I feel completely better.


It has been such a godsend for me that I hope you will give it a try, and I hope it works for your son, too.

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Oh, I meant to say that I noticed you were giving a little magnesium, but I feel dose is important. For myself I started at 1/2 tsp. of Kids Calm, but results weren't as good until I was taking more than 1 tsp. a day. I always take it at bedtime.


Hope this helps.


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You know what's really interesting, RLS is thought to be more associated with low dopamine transmission. The prescription drug Requip increases dopamine levels. It's thought to be more of a Parkinson's like syndrome. Parkinson's is related to the death of dopamine neurons.


It's confusing how adhd (which is treated with stimulant meds) Parkinson's (again stimulant med) and TS can all occur in the same person/family.

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I have been intensely studying ATP recently in regards to TS. Your remark about restless legs during pregnancy, hit me out of the blue, while I was getting ready to pull out of the driveway! I had to come back in, and see if there was a connection. I too had buzzing in my legs during pregnancy. I wondered if I was getting MS :huh:. Without getting too technical...look at this study.



ATP-Dependent Ca2+ Transport Is Up-Regulated during Third Trimester in Human Syncytiotrophoblast Basal Membranes.




Pediatric Research. 48(1):58-63, July 2000.



In late gestation, Ca2+ transport across the human placenta must increase in response to the demands of accelerating bone mineralization of the fetus. This is an ATP-dependent transport against a concentration gradient across the basal or the fetal-facing plasma membrane of the syncytiotrophoblast. The aims of the present study were to determine the relationship between ATP-dependent Ca2+ transport and gestational age in the third trimester and to identify the specific isoforms of plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase (PMCA) present in human syncytiotrophoblast. Basal membrane vesicles were isolated from normal placentas and from placentas obtained from preterm deliveries with no other complications (32-37 wk of gestation). We studied the uptake of 45Ca2+ into basal membrane vesicles in the absence and presence of ATP by using rapid filtration techniques. Western blot was used to assess the protein expression of the PMCA isoforms 1-4. Isoforms 1 and 4 of PMCA were identified in basal membrane of human placenta. The ATP-dependent Ca2+ transport increased linearly during the third trimester (r = 0.571, p = 0.0015, n = 28). However, PMCA protein expression was unaltered during the same period of gestation. Our results show that PMCA in the fetal-facing plasma membrane of the human syncytiotrophoblast is markedly activated toward the end of pregnancy. We suggest that these changes are critical in supplying the rapidly growing fetus with sufficient Ca2+ for bone mineralization.


Thank you thank you for that remark! If I piece anything together here, I'll post.

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third post in this thread




read this study




read page 392 last 2 paragraphs on the right. I can't get those paragraphs to copy for some reason, but this is helpful too. ATP is increased in social drinkers, but not alcoholics. Notice the remark about increase in catecholimines in the alcoholic group. Hummmm lots more to consider. The problem is, you have to keep reversing all of this stuff.


I have one study copied where 3 adult patients with TS, postmortem were found to have low levels of ATP across all brain regions.


For anyone reseach minded, I'd be happy to dump my note pad to see if anyone can help make sense of it all.

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Hi Kim!

I LOVE how this forum allows all these stories to be shared and connections to be made. It may not be highly scientific, but I think it's a good way to develop working theories. I was very interested to hear that RLS is almost an opposite to TS as far as dopamine is concerned. Maybe that's not the genetic link in my family, after all. I really find it interesting that a simple supplement has helped me so much, as if my body was crying out for magnesium. I wonder if it would have made a difference for me during my third trimester?


Thanks again for all the research you do. PLEASE post any thoughts/connections you come up with.



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Honestly, I woud really be surprised if symptoms of RLS are not an important clue here.


It's really interesting to look into all of the pathways that can go haywire. You have neurotransmitters, but you also have secondary messangers, synthesis of proteins, the energy componenet of the cell (mitochondria/ATP) etc.


It has occured to me, almost since the beginning of trying to understand some of the issues involved here, that low levels of something, can result in a hypersensitivity at some point, as Cheri recently commented on. Our bodies are amazing in the fact that they will compensate for low levels, sometimes by forming extra receptors to grab what is available. I only recently learned of tonic and phasic dopamine, but that's for another thread, anyway, I don't think it's normal that our legs have abnormal sensations during this process


The ATP-dependent Ca2+ transport increased linearly during the third trimester (r = 0.571, p = 0.0015, n = 28).
The abnormal influx of calcium into a cell, is known to be involved in exaggerated exocytosis. It seems rather obvious that something is disrupted in this process, in Moms that experience RLS or during the late stage of pregnancy. None of this means that vitamin or mineral deficiencies, toxic substances, illness, etc are not implicated. It may simply suggests that we may have a genetic vulnerability to any one of these things.



If RLS symptoms are improved by the use of dopamine agonists, what might that imply for a child with TS ? Is there any reason to believe that by stimulating dopamine production at some point in development, that we might avoid the hyper responsiveness? Does the problem even stem from dopamine production, or is it simply the most obvious endpoint? Dopamine also modulates other catecholamines. I will post some links under the dopamine thread, as soon as I have more time.


If ATP is involved is an area that we as Mom's have experienced, then add Faith's remark+adult TS with reduced levels of cAMP, it seems there may be something important here. ATP and cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) are a real treat to try to get any kind of a handle on, I'm really struggling!




Good page to start if you want to weed through. You have to click on the clickable part of this paragraph to get to cAMP


ATP is also used by adenylate cyclase and is transformed to the second messenger molecule cyclic AMP, which is involved in triggering calcium signals by the release of calcium from intracellular stores.[25] This form of signal transduction is particularly important in brain function, although it is involved in the regulation of a multitude of other cellular processes.[26]


This is the study that I mentioned. You have to remember that new testing methods have shown some of the things in these older studies to not be exactly as previously thought. A good example, dopamine appeared to be at usual levels until a stimulating agent was used in some of the later studies. They found a lot higher levels in patients as compared to controls when a stimulating agent was used.




Brief Communication

Tourette's syndrome: A neurochemical analysis of postmortem cortical brain tissue

Harvey S. Singer, Dr., MD 1 2 *, In-Hei Hahn, BA 1, Edward Krowiak, BA 1, Eric Nelson, BA 3, Timothy Moran, PhD 3

1Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

2Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

3Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD



*Correspondence to Harvey S. Singer, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205



Postmortem frontal, temporal, and occipital regions of the brain from adult patients who had a diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome were analyzed for neurochemical alterations. In 3 of 4 TS-affected brains, the concentration of adenosine 3,5 -monophosphate (cyclic AMP) was reduced in all brain regions evaluated. This diminution in cyclic AMP was not associated with a significant change in the activity of the synthesizing enzyme, adenylate cyclase. No significant differences were identified for the neurotransmitter-synthesizing enzymes choline acetltransferase and glutamate decarboxylase. Concentrations of dopamine, norepinephrine, and the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid were not altered. Postsynaptic receptor-binding activity for muscarinic cholinergic ([3H] quinuclidiny1 benzilate) and beta receptors ([125I]iodocyanopindolol) showed no generalized impairment. It is suggested that symptoms of Tourette's syndrome might be related to an abnormality within a second messenger system.


Received: 17 July 1989; Revised: 10 October 1989; Accepted: 11 October 1989

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I think this study offers important info on the both RLS and tics. It just takes such an incredible amt of time, to get something really useful out of it. I know it's there, but I'm getting all clogged up with info that I can't interpret or get so sidetracked trying, that I lose the origial basic information that I went searching for!




another thing I want to add. I posted earlier about dopamine appearing at normal levels, unitl a challenging agent was added. I got thinking, that it wowuld be interesting to know what that challenging agent was. I thought i remembered it being formalin (or close). I just quickly typed that in Wiki. It looks like it's formaldehyde. Very interesting. I hope this is accurate info, as I'm doing this on the run, as usual


I know some vaccine contain formaldehyde. I would love to spend some time looking for other sources (air, foods....I think diet soda's have a role here, especially at higher temperatures?

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I think this is a great thread in showing both the genetic link and the chemical link with all of these movement disorders. I have read somewhere on this board a very short article on an association between RLS and strept as well. I only remember it because my non-PANDAS son had a few months of severe RLS after a strept episode and I thought I must be going crazy to think that was what he had back then.


However, in our family the link is that my mother has Parkinson's disease, my sister and myself have RLS. We all had strept, according to my mother, constantly as children, and I had Rheumatic fever as a child. I think when you connect the movement disorder genetically and the strept connection there has to be something to that. Anyway, it is just interesting information.



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I'm sorry to hear that your Mom has PD. I hope it isn't causing her too many difficulties.

I'm wondering if you have ever done any research on Parkinson's? I'm looking at a couple of studies that suggest impaired detox capabilities again, which makes perfect sense to me, but I'm not sure what the latest research shows.


I can understand impaired detox in older people a lot easier than in all of these young children.




They are in agreement with biochemical studies showing depletion of reduced glutathione in substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease, and indicate a significant loss of neuronal reduced glutathione in surviving nigral neurons in Parkinson's disease.
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