One of the most common sleep disorders is The Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), and one of the commonly used treatments is associated with Gambling and Impulse Control Disorders (ICDs).
RLS is a common sensorimotor disorder, typically amenable to treatment with dopamine agonist therapy. Dopamine agonists are mainly used for Parkinson Disease, but they have an important role in treating RLS.
These medications include pramipexole (Sifrol), ropinirole (Repreve), cabergoline (Cabaser, Dostinex), pergolide (Permax), and levodopa (Kinson, Madopar).
One of the unfortunate unpredictable side effects is that of Impulse Control Disorders (ICDs). These include :
• Compulsive gambling (casino, pokies, tele-lotteries)
• Compulsive shopping
• Intermittent Explosive Disorder
• Kleptomania (stealing)
We’ve known about this for some time, and we published the first Australian cohort of RLS patients with ICDs. We’ve looked after one of the largest groups of RLS patients in Australia, we routinely manage these problems effectively, and can adjust medications / medication-types as required.
RLS is easy to treat, and also easy to monitor even in the setting of potential side effects. And if Dopaminergic agents are not suitable, we have many more alternative medications at hand.