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Funding News - Research on Restless Legs Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movement Disorder Sought

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  • The information on this page is for historical and research purposes only.
  • For the most current NINDS funding announcements, please see the NINDS list of Active Funding Initiatives or Follow Us on Twitter for the latest funding news.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) invite grant applications for research on restless legs syndrome (RLS) and periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).

RLS is a common neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations of the legs and an urge to move them for relief. Because symptoms are intensified by inactivity and lying down, individuals with RLS often have difficulty falling and staying asleep. An estimated 80 percent of individuals with RLS also have a condition called PLMD, which is characterized by repetitive stereotyped movements of the limbs-primarily the legs-during sleep.

Areas of potential research interest include: studies to distinguish genetic and non-genetic forms and to map, identify, and characterize genes involved in the etiology of RLS and PLMD; epidemiological studies to determine the incidence and prevalence of RLS and PLMD in population as a function of sex, age, and/or ethnic group; development of genetic models of RLS and PLMD in both small and large animals; studies in animals exposed to precipitants of RLS and PLMD; studies to determine how dopamine pathways are altered in RLS and PLMD; identification of biological markers that could be used in diagnostic or treatment studies; studies of the effect of movement on sensory symptoms of RLS; studies of the relationship between RLS and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity; dosage studies of the treatments currently used for RLS and PLMD; and studies of previously unexplored treatments for RLS and PLMD.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Paul Nichols, Program Director, Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2108, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: (301) 496-9964; fax: (301) 402-2060; email:

For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: