Was the doctor's suspicion of PLMD confirmed with a sleep study? Is your son under the care of a pediatric neurologist? Also, has he had an iron workup to include a ferritin level? Is he on any medications for the movements? I'm sorry to ask so many questions -I'll explain.
In some with PLMD, storage iron seems to be a factor due to the way the brain uses it in processing movement. Even a ferritin result that is in the "normal" rannge may be too low for one with movement issues.
Limb movements during sleep aren't always PLMD. Movements with PLMD are rythmic and repetitive and similar in appearance. In the absence of a sleep study, a videotape of the movements could help the neurologist assess them.
One other cause of limb movements during sleep is obstructive sleep apnea, which is being recognized more and more in children as well as adults. In kids, enlarged tonsils are often the culprit, though at times it is the anatomy. Sleep studies sometimes show limb movements with apnea events - it's the body's attempt to move and make the throat open. These movements would be more random, as oppsed to PLMD's patterned movements.
Both PLMD and OSA can severely fracture sleep and the results of that can manifest in lots of ways. A sleep study can tell for sure if one's sleep stages are significantly disrupted, but if the only consideration is occasional slight night movements, a sleep study might not be needed.
The question about meds - some meds can actually cause or exacerbate movement issues as a side effect. It happened with me that my PLMD movements intruded into my technically awake time, and I was experiencing repeated small head jerks when extremely tired. A lowering of the dose took care of that.
I'm not a medical professional - just someone living with multiple sleep disorders. Having more than one disorder, especially if their symptoms can overlap, can make a case a bit more complicated, Having a doctor who is well tuned to these issues can make all the difference. Best wishes in getting your son the help he needs.
yes he had a sleep study done and thats when the doctor discovered the plmd and he does see a ped neurologist so she sent him this week for lots of blood work good questions. thank you
Hi. I found your post very interesting. I was just diagnosed with plmd and am seeing my pcp, next week, to follow up. Mine was diagnosed after a sleep study to determine reason for daytime fatigue. Also, I am a snorer. The study showed that I was only averaging about 5 apneic (sp?) events per hour, so they never put me on the cpap. I am on different meds for depression, anxiety as well as GERD so not sure what to expect from all of this. I am one of those who is not aware of the movements. They do not wake me up but my husband says sometimes I flail my arms and hit him when I am turning over. We thought it was just a fluke. Anyway, any feedback on what to expect would be appreciated. Thanks.