"I just knew I wanted it to stop."
Diagnosis: Restless Legs Syndrome
When Langley resident Rocco Gianni started experiencing symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS), he had no idea what was causing the irresistible urge to move around.
He just knew he wanted it to stop.
“Sometimes it hurt, like someone was poking you, “Gianni describes. “I could live with that, but it was the constant jumping that really got to me. It was embarrassing.”
Worse yet, the RLS symptoms also meant he existed on only a few hours of sleep each night, as he was unable to stop moving long enough to stay asleep for any length of time.
“It felt like cockroaches were crawling through my legs,” Gianni recalls.
Rocco is doing much better now, thanks to the Movement Disorders Center at EvergreenHealth Neurological Care.
He’s finally been able to get some relief from the symptoms that had left him unable to sit still through movies, business meetings or important family events.
Medication and clinical trials
Since its inception, the Movement Disorders Center has been committed to helping people with all types of movement disorders – including Tourette’s, Huntington’s, tremors, dystonia and RLS.
The comprehensive care offered by the center’s team of experts ensures that patients receive their specific care program all under one roof – from diagnosis and treatment to therapy and research.
“RLS is very common. It can affect up to 10 percent of the population,” notes EvergreenHealth neurologist and movement disorders specialist, Dr. Pinky Agarwal. “It can impact sleep, travel and work, and tends to get worse over time.”
It also threatens the quality of life of the sufferer on a daily basis.
Dr. Agarwal put together a program of medications to address Rocco’s RLS symptoms.
Rocco also participated in a clinical trial using Botox as a treatment.
While its primary claim to fame has been as a tool to fight wrinkles, Botox has also been successfully used to treat a variety of medical conditions including some movement disorders.
“We hope Botox will help ease restless legs symptoms by disrupting sensory input from the legs to the brain,” Dr. Agarwal explains.
An expert team
The Movement Disorders Center provides the expert care of neurologists specializing in movement disorders, neuropsychologists, physical, occupational and speech therapists, nutritionists, social workers and counselors all conveniently located under one roof.
This team of specialists creates a care program tailored to the unique needs of each patient.
The Center is just one of the programs offered by EvergreenHealth Neurological Care.
Through it all, Rocco Gianni has continued to enjoy his job as a middle school teacher. He and his wife also lead teens on educational tours around the world.
As a man who is literally always on the move, however, Rocco is looking forward to a day when he is finally able to slow down.
For more information about restless leg syndrome