New initiative to improve diagnosis and treatment of Willis-Ekbom disease (restless legs syndrome)

Rochester, Minn. – [August 1, 2013] – The WED/RLS Quality Care Center Program will establish a network of healthcare providers with expert...

Rochester, Minn. – [August 1, 2013] – The WED/RLS Quality Care Center Program will establish a network of healthcare providers with expertise in diagnosis and disease management for people with Willis-Ekbom disease (restless legs syndrome, or WED/RLS), a chronic neurological disorder severely affecting about 3.9 percent of the population. This program is an initiative of the Willis-Ekbom Disease (WED) Foundation.

In July, the Foundation certified the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as the first member of the network, which is expected to include 25 providers worldwide by year-end.

About the Program

The WED/RLS Quality Care Center Program aims to:

  • Help patients and families locate specialists with WED/RLS expertise
  • Establish centers as regional resources for primary care providers
  • Promote understanding of the disease process and the patient’s role in care management through educational offerings, print materials, and connections with WED Foundation local support groups
  • Improve care over time through quality improvement projects

The program meets a vital need for a disease that is widely misunderstood and underdiagnosed, says WED Foundation Executive Director Georgianna Bell. “Every day, the WED Foundation hears from patients who need help finding a knowledgeable provider or adequate treatment. WED/RLS can be effectively managed over time, and our aim is to build a network of experts who will help providers everywhere meet this expectation. Nobody with this disease should suffer a reduced quality of life for lack of diagnosis or treatment.”

WED/RLS is a common neurologic disorder that causes an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by unusual or unpleasant sensations. Because symptoms commonly appear in the evenings, they can severely disrupt sleep and reduce quality of life.

To learn more, visit

# # #

About the WED Foundation

The WED Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of men, women and children who live with Willis-Ekbom disease. Founded in 1989 in Rochester, Minn., the Foundation’s goals are to increase awareness, improve treatments, and through research, find a cure. The Foundation serves health care providers, researchers, over 5,000 members, and millions of individuals in the U.S. and Canada who live with WED/RLS. The WED Foundation Research Grant Program has awarded $1.4 million to fund medical research on WED/RLS causes and treatments. For more information, visit

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images