Friday, December 18, 2015

Yale Centers for Restless Legs Syndrome and Houston Methodist Neurological Institute are certified RLS Quality Care Centers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Austin, Texas – December 18, 2015 – Yale Centers for Restless Legs Syndrome in New Haven, Connecticut; and Houston Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, Texas, have been certified as RLS Quality Care Centers by the Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Foundation. The designation recognizes specialty providers that have expertise in treating RLS patients with a range of complexities and comorbidities. 

RLS (also known as Willis-Ekbom disease) is a chronic neurological disorder affecting millions of people, with often devastating impact on quality of life; an estimated 2 to 3 percent of adults need clinical treatment for RLS.

“RLS patients often experience delays in diagnosis and effective treatment,” says RLS Foundation Executive Director Karla Dzienkowski. “For people with moderate to severe symptoms, finding a provider who can effectively treat and manage their disease is the key to a better quality of life. As the RLS Quality Care Center network grows, we are expanding the reach of RLS clinicians to patients who are in desperate need of their expertise.”

The RLS Foundation coordinates a network of certified RLS Quality Care Centers that now includes seven providers in the U.S. and Europe. Provider certification requires a high level of expertise and experience treating RLS patients. The program benefits patients and families through:
  •        Recognition of Quality Care Centers as leaders in the field and as specialty clinics for patients who are traveling or in search of knowledgeable healthcare providers
  •       Availability of Quality Care Center staff as information resources for referring primary care providers
  •        Patient educational offerings, print materials and connections with RLS Foundation local support groups

Brian Koo, MD, is an assistant professor of neurology at Yale School of Medicine and director of the RLS Quality Care Center at Yale. “At Yale, we are thrilled and humbled by our designation as an RLS Quality Care Center. We see this as an opportunity to get patients involved with important clinical research, to provide education through the RLS Foundation, but most importantly to offer excellent clinical care for those that suffer from this terrible disease,” says Dr. Koo.

William G. Ondo, MD, is director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, and director the RLS Quality Care Center at Houston Methodist. “Although there are four officially FDA-approved medications for RLS, there is still a great deal of individualization and nuance to optimally treating patients, especially for more advanced cases,” says Dr. Ondo. “Many of these patients travel a long and winding route to find effective treatment. As an RLS Quality Care Center, we hope to strengthen the network of providers specializing in RLS treatment, so that patients can more readily find optimized and comprehensive care.”

Other RLS Quality Care Centers include the  Center for Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Emory Sleep Center, Johns Hopkins Center for Restless Legs Syndrome, Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, and Innsbruck Medical University, Department of Neurology, Sleep Lab and Sleep Disorders Outpatient Clinic. 

To learn more about the RLS Quality Care Center Program, visit www.rls.org/quality-care-program.

The RLS Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of men, women and children who live with restless legs syndrome (RLS, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease). Founded in 1989, the Foundation’s goals are to increase awareness, improve treatments and through research, find a cure for RLS. The Foundation serves healthcare providers, researchers, over 4,000 members and an estimated seven million individuals in the U.S. and Canada who have RLS. The RLS Foundation Research Grant Program has awarded $1.5 million to fund medical research on RLS causes and treatments. For more information, visit www.rls.org.
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