Rett syndrome is a rare genetic neurological and developmental disorder that affects the way the brain develops, causing a progressive inability to use muscles for eye and body movements and speech. It occurs almost exclusively in girls.
Most babies with Rett syndrome seem to develop normally at first, but after about 6 months of age, they lose skills they previously had — such as the ability to crawl, walk, communicate or use their hands.
Over time, children with Rett syndrome have increasing problems with the use of muscles that control movement, coordination and communication. Rett syndrome can also cause seizures and intellectual disability.
Although there's no cure for Rett syndrome, potential treatments are being studied. Current treatment focuses on improving movement and communication and providing care and support for children and adults with Rett syndrome and their families.
Sept. 17, 2015
- Rett syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/rett/detail_rett.htm. Accessed Aug. 3, 2015.
- Rett syndrome. National Organization for Rare Diseases. https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/rett-syndrome/. Accessed Aug. 3, 2015.
- Rett syndrome. Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/rett-syndrome. Accessed Aug. 3, 2015.
- Schultz RJ, et al. Rett syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 3, 2015.
- Lotan M. Alternative therapeutic intervention for individuals with Rett syndrome. The Scientific World Journal. 2007;29:698.
- Rett syndrome: Condition information. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/rett/conditioninfo/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed Aug. 5, 2015.
- Symons FJ, et al. Parent-reported pain in Rett syndrome. Clinical Journal of Pain. 2013;29:744.
- Byiers BJ, et al. Seizures and pain uncertainty associated with parenting stress and Rett syndrome. Journal of Child Neurology. 2014;29:526.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 17, 2015.
- Tervo RC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 28, 2015.