Sleep Related Movement Disorders : Association with Menopause and Pregnancy

Sammanfattning: It is known that sleep problems affect people’s wellbeing and has great consequences for public health.Restless legs syndrome (RLS) gives uncomfortable sensations in the legs at rest, leading to an irresistible need for activity. It aggravates in evening and at night. Therefore, RLS provides poorer sleep and can affect quality of life through fatigue, family life and social activities, work, and comorbidity. It is demonstrated a dysfunction of the dopaminergic system in the brain with low levels of dopamine and / or less sensitive dopamine receptors. RLS is more common in women and the prevalence increases with age and during pregnancy.Periodic limb movements are characterized by uncontrolled stretching movements of the legs, especially the toes, ankles, knees and hips during sleep. They last between 0.5 and 5 seconds, and can cause brief awakenings leading to daytime sleepiness. The clinical significance of PLM is rather controversial and PLM is sometimes seen in healthy people with no daytime symptoms.RLS is a subjective diagnosis and translated with the help of questionnaires. PLM however, can objectively be evaluated by polysomnography.Depression is common during and after pregnancy. It is not known whether women with RLS during pregnancy have a higher risk of prenatal or postpartum depression.The aims of this thesis was to  to examine the prevalence, associated symptoms and comorbidities, in particular, vasomotor symptoms, menopause, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) use, among women who suffer from RLS and PLMs. We also evaluated the impact of RLS and PLMs on health related quality of life (HRQoL), and if RLS before and during pregnancy increases the risk of antenatal or postpartum depressive symptoms.Three different poulations were used.  Paper 1-3 were cross-sectional and included 5000 resp. 10000 randomly selected women from the general populations of Dalarna and Uppsala County. Questionnaires, polysomnographic recordings, blodtests etc. were used. Paper 4 was a longitudinal cohort study where 1428 pregnant women in Uppsala County were followed.In summary, data included in this thesis points out that RLS and PLMs are more common in women with estrogendeficiency-related symptoms of menopause. RLS-positive women had an impaired mental HRQoL compared to RLS-negative women and more often suffered from comorbidities. Data also revealed that women with RLS before and during pregnancy are at increased risk for depression during and after pregnancy.