Restless leg syndrome may be hereditary, say scientists who claim to have discovered two faulty genes that cause the annoying condition.
An international team says that its discovery sheds light on origins of one of the most common nerve disorders, and could pave the way for new drugs to help sufferers, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.
Sufferers of restless leg syndrome experience unpleasant sensations in their legs which can only be eased by moving, walking or jiggling.
The scientists say they have found two genetic mutations linked to the condition. People who inherited the mutations are much more likely to develop restless leg syndrome, the ‘PLoS Genetics’ journal reported.
The new study looked at the genetic make-up of 4,867 patients with the condition and compared them to more than 7,000 without it.
The scientists found two new areas on the genome which play a role. One area is within a gene involved in controlling brain activity called TOX3.
TOX3 is involved in protecting brain cells -- but its link to restless leg syndrome is still unknown. However, the discoveries could lead to new treatments for the condition.