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Neuro Update

Additional RLS Research Examines Iron Deficiency

James R. Connor, PhD, vice-chair of neurosurgery at Penn State Milton S. Medical Center, has been continuing research that began as a collaboration with scientists at The Johns Hopkins Hospital over a decade ago. These prior autopsy studies indicated the brain is iron-deficient in RLS patients, and proved a biological basis for the condition, as patients had a low ferritin level in common. This iron deficiency has multiple consequences that will provide further insights into therapeutic targets. “One of these consequences is the activation of hypoxic pathways, since there is not enough iron to use the oxygen,” says Connor. “This is clearly related to reduced peripheral blood flow.” In combination with the research being conducted by Dr. Stephanie Patton, this information may deepen the scientific and clinical knowledge of a poorly-understood condition and open multiple doors to future treatment options.

A head-and-shoulders photo of James Connor, MS, PhD

James Connor, MS, PhD

Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Neurosurgery
Professor, Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Phone: 717-531-4541
Connect with Department of Neurology on Doximity

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