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Ed Yeates reporting Thousands of people go to bed every night feeling like spiders or bugs are crawling inside their legs. It's a common sleep disorder called restless leg syndrome.
Now researchers may have found a way to stop the shaking.
Restless leg syndrome can begin in childhood. While trying to fall asleep, victims keep moving and jerking one leg or both, trying to shake off a creepy crawly sensation that's very real.
Melonie Young: "I FEEL LIKE I HAVE SOMETHING INSIDE MY LEG THAT IS MAYBE CRAWLING AROUND."
Melonie Young has had restless leg syndrome since she was 14 years old. Even after falling asleep her legs often keep moving.
YOUNG: "FINALLY WHEN YOU DO START TO DOZE OFF AND GO TO SLEEP, I START TO GET THE JERKS WHERE MY LEG WILL JERK HARD ENOUGH TO WAKE ME BACK UP AGAIN."
Navin Varma, M.D./ Neurologist, McKay Dee Hospital Sleep Center: "PEOPLE REALLY CANNOT GET TO SLEEP. THEY'RE AWAKE ALL NIGHT. THEY'RE IRRITABLE. THEY'RE TIRED. THEY CAN'T CONCENTRATE, EVEN INTO THE DAYTIME. THEY HAVE DIFFICULTY SITTING STILL. THEY NEED TO BE UP AND MOVING ALL THE TIME."
McKay Dee Hospital's sleep center is studying patients with restless leg. Since researchers believe it may have something to do with the brain's neurochemistry which normally controls muscle relaxation, Dr. Navin Varma and his group will be conducting clinical trials on a new drug, used in the past to treat Parkinson's disease.
VARMA: "IT IS NOT JUST A HALLUCINATION. IT IS A TRUE FEELING."
YOUNG: "I KNOW THAT WHEN I'M HAVING A BAD NIGHT, I'M NEVER GOING TO GET ANY MORE THAN THREE TO FOUR HOURS OF SLEEP - TOPS."
For Melonie, the new treatment, if it works, could make a huge difference in her life - literally like night and day.