Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treating Rett syndrome requires a team approach, including regular medical care; physical, occupational and speech therapy; and academic, social and job training services. The need for support doesn't end as children become older — it's usually necessary throughout life.

Treatments that can help children and adults with Rett syndrome include:

  • Medications. Though medications can't cure Rett syndrome, they may help control some of the signs and symptoms associated with the disorder, such as seizures and muscle stiffness.
  • Physical and speech therapy. Physical therapy and the use of braces or casts can help children who have scoliosis. In some cases, physical therapy can also help maintain walking skills, balance and flexibility, while occupational therapy may improve purposeful use of the hands. If repetitive arm and hand movement is a problem, splints that restrict elbow or wrist motion may be helpful. Speech therapy can help improve a child's life by teaching nonverbal ways of communicating.
  • Nutritional support. Proper nutrition is extremely important for both normal growth and for improved mental and social abilities. Some children with Rett syndrome may need a high-calorie, well-balanced diet. Others may need to be fed through a tube placed in the nose (nasogastric tube) or directly in the stomach (gastrostomy).
Oct. 04, 2012