September 23, Dr. Karl Axel Ekbom’s birthday, is marked as International RLS Awareness Day around the globe.
The first known medical description of RLS was by Sir Thomas Willis in 1672. Known to be a keen observer of his patients' symptoms, Willis emphasized the sleep disruption and limb movements experienced by sufferers of RLS. However, it was not until almost three centuries after Willis, in 1945, that Karl-Axel Ekbom provided a detailed and comprehensive report of this condition in his doctoral thesis, Restless legs: clinical study of hitherto overlooked disease. Ekbom coined the term "restless legs" and continued work on this disorder throughout his career. He described the essential diagnostic symptoms, differential diagnosis from other conditions, prevalence, relation to anemia, and common occurrence during pregnancy.
To coincide with International RLS Awareness Day, RLS-UK are asking printed media and television programmes to run pieces on RLS. We need volunteers who would be willing to tell their 'stories', so readers/viewers understand the impact RLS has had on their lives. If you would be willing to be a volunteer, either for a newspaper piece or a television appearance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org