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World Sleep 2022 | Dipyridamole treatment in RLS: rationale and initial data

Diego Garcia-Borreguero, MD, PhD, Sleep Research Institute, Madrid, Spain, discusses the rational for using dipyridamole in treating patients with restless leg syndrome (RLS). One of the main issues in treating RLS has been the limitations of dopamine agonist use; they are effective in the short term, yet lead to dopaminergic augmentation and thus, an iatrogenic worsening of RLS symptoms over prolonged administration. Dr Garcia-Borreguero further discusses the role of hyperactive corticostriatal pathways and adenosine in the pathophysiology of RLS – describing the rational for developing drugs like dipyridamole which increase adenosine-based inhibition of these pathways. Results demonstrated that administration of dipyridamole has led to an improvement in the severity of symptoms for first-time treatment in patients with RLS; those who have been pretreated with dopaminergic substances tend to develop resistance, becoming unresponsive to medications like dipyridamole. This interview took place at the World Sleep Conference in Rome, Italy.