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University of Iowa News Release

July 21, 2003

UI Sleep Disorders Center To Test Potential Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment

Researchers in the Sleep Disorders Center at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will test the efficacy and safety of a potential treatment for patients diagnosed with restless legs syndrome.

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common disorder, but the condition is frequently not diagnosed. RLS is characterized by unpleasant sensations in the limbs during rest and is associated with an irresistible urge to move. Periodic limb movements may accompany those sensations and often interfere with going to sleep or the quality of sleep.

The UI researchers will provide either a medication called sumanirole or a placebo (a pill that does not contain medication) to study participants. Study participation will last for 12 to 13 weeks with a total of 13 visits. The study will require staying four nights in the Sleep Disorders Center to complete a sleep studies.

"The results of the study will help tell us if this medication is a safe and effective treatment for patients affected by restless legs syndrome," said Eric Dyken, M.D., UI professor in the department of neurology and director of the Sleep Disorders Center. "This research trial will also provide important information about the appropriate dose of the medication for these patients, who often experience serious difficulties as a consequence of the disorder."

Previous studies show that between 5 and 15 percent of Americans may experience RLS. There is currently no approved treatment for the disorder.

For more information about the RLS study, contact Karla Grimsman, UI nurse in neurology, at 319-356-8743.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACT(S): Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, Program: Karla Grimsman, UI nurse in neurology, 319-356-8743.