A calibrated model with a single-generator simulating polysomnographically recorded periodic leg movements.

Italia, Matteo; Danani, Andrea; Dercole, Fabio; Ferri, Raffaele; Manconi, Mauro (2022). A calibrated model with a single-generator simulating polysomnographically recorded periodic leg movements. Journal of sleep research, 31(5), e13567. Wiley 10.1111/jsr.13567

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The aim of this study was to assess, with numerical simulations, if the complex mechanism of two (or more) interacting spinal/supraspinal structures generating periodic leg movements can be modelled with a single-generator approach. For this, we have developed the first phenomenological model to generate periodic leg movements in-silico. We defined the onset of a movement in one leg as the firing of a neuron integrating excitatory and inhibitory inputs from the central nervous system, while the duration of the movement was defined in accordance to statistical evidence. For this study, polysomnographic leg movement data from 32 subjects without periodic leg movements and 65 subjects with periodic leg movements were used. The proportion of single-leg and double-leg inputs, as well as their strength and frequency, were calibrated on the without periodic leg movements dataset. For periodic leg movements subjects, we added a periodic excitatory input common to both legs, and the distributions of the generator period and intensity were fitted to their dataset. Besides the many simplifying assumptions - the strongest being the stationarity of the generator processes during sleep - the model-simulated data did not differ significantly, to a large extent, from the real polysomnographic data. This represents convincing preliminary support for the validity of our single-generator model for periodic leg movements. Future model extensions will pursue the ambitious project of a supportive diagnostic and therapeutic tool, helping the specialist with realistic forecasting, and with cross-correlations and clustering with other patient meta-data.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Manconi, Mauro


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

22 Feb 2022 10:30

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:10

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

leg movement activity pace maker polysomnography restless legs syndrome





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