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UCB supports International Restless Legs Syndrome Awareness Day

Posted by
Olivier Baron, Patient Solutions Team
At UCB, we are committed to supporting patients with severe diseases. That is why we put patients at the heart of our new tagline, launched earlier this year: Inspired by Patients. Driven by Science.

This also explains our pride in supporting International Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Awareness Day on September 23rd.

The International Awareness Day is organised by a coalition dedicated to raising awareness of the condition:

  • European Alliance for Restless Legs Syndrome (EARLS)
  • Willis-Ekbom Disease Foundation in the United States and Canada
  • European Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (EURLSSG)
  • International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG)
  • World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM).

Why September 23rd ? This is the birth date of Professor Karl-Axel Ekborn, a Swedish neurologist who provided the first description of the disease in medical literature in 1945.

Professor Ekbom played an important role in deepening our understanding of RLS, a neurological disorder of no known cause to date, but that studies have shown is associated with changes in the dopamine system as well as iron levels. RLS is characterised by an overwhelming urge to move the legs when they are at rest. Some patients also report RLS symptoms in the arms, face and torso.

International Awareness Day exists to promote greater understanding and awareness of the often life-altering disease. Since Ekbom completed his doctoral thesis in 1945, much has been learned about RLS and its symptoms.
RLS symptoms are usually more severe in the evening and at night, often causing sleep disruption and leading to fatigue. However, daytime symptoms – such as involuntary leg jerks and an inability to sit still – are increasingly recognised.

Many people living with RLS have other disease that occur in the presence of RLS such as pain syndromes, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and many other diseases.

RLS sufferers can endure a significantly reduced quality of life, comparable to experiences with other serious chronic medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and clinical depression.

Despite the progress of recent years, more work is required to raise public awareness of the condition, to conduct research into its causes, and to provide patients with therapies that can give them relief whenever they need it and improve long-term outcomes.

This is work that UCB is committed to and, along with partners in international organisations, we intend to continue to raise awareness of the seriousness of the disease, and to harness science to deliver for patients.

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