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How does RLS affect AHI?
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Husky Lover Offline

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Post: #1
Question How does RLS affect AHI?
Have been using CPAP for 10 years. Recent repeat sleep study showed moderate to severe RLS. Now started on ropinirole oral med and AHI is much decreased according to my CPAP machine data which I can review on software I have. My question is, why does AHI go down if treating RLS and RLS is reduced when AHI measures apneas, hypopneas (breathing disruptions.) Do not understand why decrease in leg movements lowers the AHI which is a measure of breathing events. Do fewer or improvements in RLS leg movements cause a decrease in breathing problems? I do not understand the relationship of RLS and AHI and cannot find info on internet.
02-03-2016 06:45 PM
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eseedhouse Online

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Post: #2
RE: How does RLS affect AHI?
Well, if the restless legs were waking you up you might well get apneas too. Either way there was a sleep disturbance. Our bodies are all connected you know ... I hear people relax all over from a good foot rub for instance.

Ed Seedhouse
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02-03-2016 07:16 PM
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trish6hundred Offline

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Post: #3
RE: How does RLS affect AHI?
Hi jmtwieg1,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more answers to your question and much success to you as you continue your CPAP therapy.

trish6hundred
02-03-2016 11:56 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: How does RLS affect AHI?
RLS, Restless Leg Syndrome, is not the same as PLMD, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. (Sometimes referred to as PLMS, periodic limb movement during sleep)

RLS is a daytime, "voluntary" thing.

PLMD is a nighttime, "involuntary" thing.

RLS is a strong urge to move the legs (to be overly simplistic). It is a nervous system disorder. The urges make one tense up, move, twitch, etc but all of it is voluntary. It can happen during any point of the day but is worse while at rest, including when laying down to sleep.

PLMD is more sudden and only happens during sleep. It is considered a sleep disorder. It can be violent or mild. It can happen to those without other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Many of us with sleep apnea have the diagnosis of PLMD as a side effect of our OSA. The twitches happen because of our apnea events. The worse the event, the worse the twitch.

A person can have both RLS and PLMD but the two are not the same.

While RLS is not considered a sleep disorder, it can disrupt sleep, especially in the beginning. I can see how a medication to treat RLS would improve sleep which would, in turn, lower the AHI. Because you are sleeping without being woke up, the machine has a chance to treat the apnea events and keep the airway open. Before, it never really had a chance to do so. This is my assumption.

I did some Google foo can found this interesting article
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671939/

PaulaO2
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
02-04-2016 12:50 PM
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