Sleep Disorders

24 October 2011

More left-handed people have sleep disorder

The presence of rhythmic limb movements when sleeping, which may vary in intensity, may be an indicator of periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).

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The presence of rhythmic limb movements when sleeping, which may vary in intensity, may be an indicator of periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).

In a study of 100 patients with PMLD, presented at CHEST 2011, the 77th annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), researchers from Toledo, Ohio divided the patients into those who were right-handed and those who were left-handed.

Of the 84 right-handed and 16 left-handed patients, 69% of right-handed patients had bilateral limb movements compared with 94% of left-handed patients, irrespective of age, sex, and race.

Their findings indicate that left-handed people have significantly higher chances of having bilateral limb movements, indicating the potential for PLMD.

(EurekAlert, October 2011)

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Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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