Left Handed People More Likely To Suffer PLMD Sleep Disorder


Left handed people are more likely to suffer from a sleep disorder called periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) according to researchers presenting their findings in a poster session at the CHEST 2011, 77th annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Hawaii.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) is a sleep disorder characterized by rhythmic movements of the legs that result in chronic tiredness during the day due to insomnia or fitful sleep during the night. PLMD is related to another sleep disorder induced syndrome called restless legs syndrome. The end result ill-health effect of sleep disorders has recently been associated with high blood pressure.


In the study, 100 patients with PMLD were assessed for right and left handedness and a comparison was made to determine whether right or left handed patients were statistically more likely to suffer from bilateral PMLD. Bilateral PMLD is rhythmic movement of limbs from both sides of the body as opposed to limbs from one side of the body.

What the researchers found was that of the 100 patients, 84 were right handed and 16 were left handed. Of the 84 right handed patients, 69 percent had bilateral movement of their legs. Of the 16 left handed patients, 94 percent had bilateral movement of their legs.

The results of the study led the researchers to conclude that left handed people have a significantly higher chance of having bilateral limb movements compared to right handed people and were more likely to suffer from their sleep disorder. The researchers believe that the importance of this study is that it may lead to further studies that will focus on discovering what is occurring in the cerebral cortex that is causing PLMD in many sleep disorder patients.

Source: American College of Chest Physicians