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Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)


Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a sleep disorder causing involuntary movements of the limbs during sleep.


Its causes are not known but some possible triggers are:

  • Certain health conditions like anemia, diabetes, kidney disorders, nerve problems, etc.
  • Certain sleep disorders
  • Certain lifestyle habits like smoking, alcohol and caffeine consumption, etc.
  • Starting or withdrawing certain medications


  • Flexing or jerking movements of the ankle, toes and legs
  • Moving arms in the air
  • Poor and unrefreshing sleep
  • Fatigue


There is no cure for PLMD but symptoms can be controlled by medications like:

  • Parkinson’s disease drugs
  • Anticonvulsant medication
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Dopaminergic agents
  • GABA agonists


Since the causes are not clear, there is no specific way of preventing PMLD.