Quantifying the periodicty of Inter Movement Intervals of Leg Movements

Rummel, C; Gast, H; Müller, M; Schindler, K; Mathis, J (2009). Quantifying the periodicty of Inter Movement Intervals of Leg Movements. In: Abstracts of the SSSSC: Sleepless mind. Mindless sleep? 59 (pp. 246-268). Basel: Karger 10.1159/000230666

ims: Periodic leg movements in sleep (PLMS) are a frequent finding in polysomnography. Most patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS) display PLMS. However, since PLMS are also often recorded in healthy elderly subjects, the clinical significance of PLMS is still discussed controversially. Leg movements are seen concurrently with arousals in obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) may also appear periodically. Quantitative assessment of the periodicity of LM/PLM as measured by inter movement intervals (IMI) is difficult. This is mainly due to influencing factors like sleep architecture and sleep stage, medication, inter and intra patient variability, the arbitrary amplitude and sequence criteria which tend to broaden the IMI distributions or make them even multi-modal. Methods: Here a statistical method is presented that enables eliminating such effects from the raw data before analysing the statistics of IMI. Rather than studying the absolute size of IMI (measured in seconds) we focus on the shape of their distribution (suitably normalized IMI). To this end we employ methods developed in Random Matrix Theory (RMT). Patients: The periodicity of leg movements (LM) of four patient groups (10 to 15 each) showing LM without PLMS (group 1), OSA without PLMS (group 2), PLMS and OSA (group 3) as well as PLMS without OSA (group 4) are compared. Results: The IMI of patients without PLMS (groups 1 and 2) and with PLMS (groups 3 and 4) are statistically different. In patients without PLMS the distribution of normalized IMI resembles closely the one of random events. In contrary IMI of PLMS patients show features of periodic systems (e.g. a pendulum) when studied in normalized manner. Conclusions: For quantifying PLMS periodicity proper normalization of the IMI is crucial. Without this procedure important features are hidden when grouping LM/PLM over whole nights or across patients. The clinical significance of PLMS might be eluded when properly separating random LM from LM that show features of periodic systems.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Schindler, Kaspar Anton






Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:14

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2016 10:54

Publisher DOI:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/32685 (FactScience: 197964)

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