International EU-RLS-GENE Consortium


The international EU-RLS-GENE consortium is a collaborative effort of researchers and clinicians from several European countries, Canada and the United States of America, dedicated to elucidating the genetic basis of restless legs syndrome (RLS). Between 2007 and 2017, the consortium has conducted three genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for RLS under the leadership of Prof. Juliane Winkelmann. The latest release of the international EU-RLS-GENE consortium GWAS included 6,228 cases and 10,992 controls. These studies have identified the first known genetic risk loci for RLS. With mounting sample size, the number of risk loci increased from three to a total of 19 in the most recent meta-analysis (Lancet Neurology 2017).  For this meta-analysis, we joined forces with investigators of the INTERVAL study in the United Kingdom ( and the research team of the DTC genetic testing company 23andMe in the USA (

Current activities include substantial enlargement of the sample size of the study, making it the world-wide largest genetic investigation for RLS to date.

GWAS Results