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Local doctor helps patients sleep with study

March 12, 2012 posted by Carissa D. Etters

GREENVILLE – A research article by Daniel Lee, MD, a board certified sleep specialist, was selected as one of the best publications for sleep medicine in 2011. Lee’s article, which focuses on drug therapy for restless leg syndrome (RLS), will be featured in The Best of Sleep Medicine, 2012. The publication is composed of journal articles and is published annually.
RLS is a neurologic disorder that causes discomfort in the legs. The discomfort is described as an unpleasant tingling sensation that creates an irresistible urge to move the legs. The feeling usually sets in during periods of rest or at night during sleep and causes sleep disruption. According to the American Family Physician, about 10 percent of adults suffer from RLS. RLS tends to be genetic and is more common as people age. There are some cases where people get it before 18 years of age.
The power of sleep is often underestimated. “Sleep deprivation can cause a host of health problems from headaches, to high blood pressure, and even memory loss,” Lee said. According to Lee, children who lose sleep run the risk of developing learning problems.  Adult patients are also prone to memory disturbance due to sleep loss. In older patients, sleep deprivation can actually cause aches and pains. Trouble falling asleep and lack of sleep are the most common symptom of RLS, but with the correct diagnosis and treatment of the disorder, most people can be freed of it.
Lee says RLS is a very disabling condition. “Often times people suffering from RLS can’t sit in the car for long trips, watch movies, or even sit at the dinner table without getting up and having to walk it off,” he said.
At the Vidant Sleep Center, the latest sleep technologies are used to complete a full analysis of patient sleep patterns to determine the best plan of care. RLS is one of the most common conditions treated at the sleep center. The sleep center is internationally recognized and leading the way for research on conditions like RLS.
For more information about the sleep center or to set up a consultation call 252-847-7500 or 1-866-578-7500.
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