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Restless legs syndrome and low brain iron levels in patients with haemochromatosis
  1. J Haba-Rubio1,
  2. L Staner1,
  3. C Petiau2,
  4. G Erb1,
  5. T Schunck1,
  6. J P Macher1
  1. 1FORENAP (Institute for Research in Neurosciences and Neuropsychiatry), Rouffach, France
  2. 2Clinique Sainte Barbe, Strasbourg, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J Haba-Rubio
 Hôpitaux Universitaires Genève, Belle Idée, Chemin du Petit Bel-Air 2, 1225-Chêne-Bourg, Switzerland;


Regional brain iron levels of two patients with haemochromatosis and severe restless legs syndrome (RLS) were assessed using R2′ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences in both patients and in nine healthy controls. R2′ relaxation rates in the patients were decreased in the substantia nigra, red nucleus, and pallidum when compared with the controls. These results indicate that local brain iron deficiency may occur in patients with haemochromatosis and suggest a role for brain iron metabolism in the pathophysiology of RLS.

  • PLMS, periodic limb movements in sleep
  • RLS, restless legs syndrome

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  • Competing interests: none declared