RLS and FLR: a matter of genetics?

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One evening about 10 years ago when Goddess V and I had first begun seeing each other, it was late, I had driven over two hours to see her, I was tired and we were sitting in my car talking. I began getting “that” feeling in my legs. Only because she noticed how they seemed to twitch uncontrollably did if I think to talk about it with her.

Then in 2004 GlaxoSmithKline began marketing Requip® for the treatment of RLS. When I first saw their ad I thought, “I’ll be damned.” What I’d been experiencing for over 15 years actually had a name: Restless Legs Syndrome. Goddess V and I looked at each other in amazement as a 60-second television ad, in a sense, legitimized what we both had considered to be just one of my odd-ball (and annoying, if you ask the goddess) quirks. Suddenly I was no longer unique or strange. I was one of many, so many that a pharmaceutical powerhouse was targeting us with their marketing campaign.

GSK has fallen under heavy fire from the medical community and the mainstream media for “disease mongering”; for promoting a little-substantiated medical condition and for attempting to convince millions of people they could avoid suffering symptoms of this condition by taking a drug that GSK had conveniently invented. As it turns out, Requip (ropinirol HCL and marketed as Adartrel® in the UK), was already an obscure, approved treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. It wasn’t until May 2005 that it was successfully repurposed by obtaining US FDA approval for treatment of RLS. Successful indeed! Sales of Requip soared to nearly $500 million in 2006, further fueling debate over GSK’s motives—except that new research indicates that RLS is genetically encoded, which may end the debate once and for all.

Two recent studies have pinpointed three common genetic variations linked to RLS. Gene scans identify a variation in the BTBD9 gene, another in the MEIS1 gene and a third in a DNA sector shared by the MAP2K5 and LBXCOR1 genes that are linked with RLS and other periodic limb movements during sleep. Says David Rye, MD, PhD, professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine where one study was conducted, “We now have concrete evidence that RLS is an authentic disorder with recognizable features and underlying biological basis.” It is estimated that 65% of the population carry at least one of these gene variants and that one person in ten experiences RLS.

Also known as Ekborn's syndrome, RLS was described in the 1940s by Swedish neurologist, Karl A. Ekborn. And earlier descriptions can be traced back to the 17th century when English anatomist and physician, Thomas Willis, described the disorder. BTBD9-and-whatever-genes be damned, those of us who experience RLS didn’t need GSK, or genetic research, or even the government for that matter, to tell us the sensations we feel in our legs are very real!

But this post isn’t so much about restless legs per se—and it isn’t meant to infer that FemDom is a disorder in need of medical treatment. Clearly, RLS has been affecting people for a very long time. But for one reason or another, the afflicted didn’t talked about it much until it was brought into the mainstream of social awareness by GSK’s advertising. Many of us had been quietly laying awake at night half tempted to cut off our damn legs, when suddenly we discovered there were “other people like us” out there. It became a legitimate topic of conversation through which we learned that some of our friends and acquaintances also suffered from RLS. It was a bit like when Viagra ads hit the media, catapulting ED into the light of day—but without the performance stigma that makes men shy to fess up.

Likewise, those of us living FLRs didn’t need the IOWA study or the MSNBC poll I mentioned in my last post to prove to us that male submission to female authority is gaining momentum in our society. We didn’t need to be told how it’s now being considered by psychologists as a possible marker of a successful marriage. DUH. Submissive men already know what we know. So do the dominant women who have formally acknowledge their authority over their men.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if scientists were to discover a submissive male gene along with a corresponding dominant gene in the female. But short of that the recent studies and polls are helping to validate our lifestyle by providing evidence that there are growing numbers of people out there who are “just like us.” With or without a so-called proven genetic biological basis, the transition in society to female authority is happening.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, the number of arrests for pedophilia has also been on the rise - "gaining momentum", as you put it. Is that, also, a long-term trend, and should we welcome it?

Maybe there's a correlation there that should be investigated.

Psmith said...

It isn't a matter of genetics. But of complementary erotic needs.

VeezKnight said...

Anonymous,

We're also seeing increases in the numbers of:

Uninsured Americans
Storms over the Atlantic Ocean
Baptisms in Japan
Criminals in US imprisons
Registered sex offenders
Female university students
Serious terrorist incidents
Home foreclosures
Tourists visiting Egypt
Cases of Ebola in Zaire
Vacationers visiting nude resorts
Cases of tuberculosis in India
Oxygen depleted ocean “dead zones”
SIDS deaths in infants
Zombie/ hijacked PCs
Female smokers
Infants with vitamin D deficiency
Women entering US prisons
Fitness clubs for dogs
Male nurses
Female executives
Dog bites in Minnesota
Women on expatriate placements
Catholics in Africa
Deaths on Czech roads
Methadone prescriptions in Lothian
Personal bankruptcies
Swimming pools per capita
Home-schooled children
Biker babes
Cases of ID fraud
Trade apprenticeships
Single moms
Single dads
Interracial marriages
Fatal jumps from bridges
Women murdered in Guatemala
Black rhinos in Kenya
Tibetan antelopes in China

And let us not forget: Asinine blog comments written by jackasses

Clearly these increases MUST be somehow related.

myqueensandy said...

veezknight,

very, very put!

Anonymous said...

Are you denying that changes in one area of human relationships may have effects in other areas which might be worthy of investigation? My goodness, even the Amish look at new developments in society, such as inline-skating, and try to decide based on an evaluation of possible benefits and detriments whether they wish to adapt them.

My opinion of you and your ideas will be based on your response.

VeezKnight said...

Anon,

I have about as much concern over what the Amish think of inline skating as I do of opinions formed of me in slapdash fashion.

Female In Charge said...

On a lighter ? note, I too have RLS. It was diagnosed about 10 years ago after years and years of misery. I take another Parkinsons drug which works great. Congrats on figuring this out!