Objective: To investigate a possible association of restless limbs syndrome (RLS) and bruxism and determine if bruxism is improved by dopamine agonists (DAs).
Background: Bruxism is a common parasomnia and movement disorder of unknown etiology affecting 10% of the population. Bruxism is associated with insomnia, TMJ, dental and periodontal morbidity. Treatment with occlusal splints does not stop bruxism or fully reduce dental complications. No pharmacological treatments for bruxism are currently available. Others have suggested a possible association of RLS and bruxism in population surveys. Bruxism and PLMS, seen in 80% of patients with RLS both occur in light, non-REM sleep. To our knowledge there has not been a study of RLS patients to determine if bruxism is associated with RLS and if it responds to therapies for RLS.
Method: Patients who met the IRLSSG criteria for RLS completed a 35 question survey which investigated demographics, symptoms, associated conditions, family history and response to therapy. Charts were reviewed and interviews conducted to complete and clarify the data. The bruxism patients presented here is a subgroup of an ongoing study of RLS and associated conditions.
Results: 676 RLS patients were surveyed at the time of this analysis. 241 (35.7%) acknowledged a history of bruxism. 105 of 241 (43.6%) responded to DAs for their bruxism symptoms. Excluding non-respondents (ie: patients who did not receive treatment or could not recall their response), 105 of 139 (75.5%) had improvement in bruxism when treated with DAs for RLS.
Conclusion: These data support a strong association between RLS and bruxism, both movement disorders and parasomnias, and suggests that bruxism, in this population, may respond to treatment with DAs. Although retrospective, non-controlled, and unblinded, this study should enhance disease appreciation and encourage a blinded and placebo-controlled trial of DAs for bruxism associated with RLS. Finally, the data suggests that bruxism may be a manifestation of RLS and is a dopamine-responsive movement disorder that should be well-known to, and treated by, movement disorder neurologists in the future.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:D. Dickoff, S. Dontje, R. Sirkin, N. Ditkoff. Bruxism Associated with Restless Limbs Syndrome (RLS): A Dopamine Responsive Movement Disorder [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2020; 35 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/bruxism-associated-with-restless-limbs-syndrome-rls-a-dopamine-responsive-movement-disorder/. Accessed December 5, 2023.
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MDS Abstracts - https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/bruxism-associated-with-restless-limbs-syndrome-rls-a-dopamine-responsive-movement-disorder/