Table 1

Essential diagnostic criteria

Essential criteria

Supportive criteria

Associated features


An urge to move the legs, usually accompanied/caused by uncomfortable/unpleasant sensations in the legs.

Positive family history of RLS.

Natural clinical course of the disorder.

Urge to move or unpleasant sensations begin or worsen during periods of rest or inactivity.

Positive response to dopaminergic drugs.

Sleep disorders are a frequent but unspecific symptom of the RLS.

Urge to move or unpleasant sensations are partially/totally relieved by movement, at least as long as the activity continues.

PLMW/PLMS as assessed with polysomnography or leg activity devices.

Medical evaluation/physical examination: The neurological examination is usually normal.

Urge to move or unpleasant sensations are worse in the evening/night than during the day, or only occur in the evening/night.

Probable causes for secondary RLS should be excluded.


Garcia-Borreguero et al. BMC Neurology 2011 11:28   doi:10.1186/1471-2377-11-28

Open Data