What is Rett syndrome?
Rett syndrome is a genetic syndrome that causes autism-like symptoms in girls usually starting between six months and three years of age. Up until that time, the girls have normal development.
- Find out more about Rett syndrome on this page from the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF).
How is it diagnosed?
Find out about symptoms and diagnosis on this page from the IRSF.
Is there any treatment?
There is no cure, but there are treatment options for the symptoms. Treatment may include:
- Supportive care to assist with everyday activities
- Nutritional support
- Physical therapy and hydrotherapy to improve flexibility and movement
- Occupational therapy to help with doing daily activities
- Speech therapy to help with communication
- Medication to treat seizures, breathing, and motor problems
- Special equipment like braces or splints for orthopedic problems
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has a short information page on Rett syndrome.
- More detailed Rett syndrome fact sheet from the NINDS.
- El Síndrome de Rett—Spanish language fact sheet from the NINDS.
- This publication on Rett Syndrome from the National Institutes of Health includes the research findings on its genetic basis.
- Rett syndrome information on the Genetics Home Reference—a guide to understanding genetic conditions.
- The International Rett Syndrome Foundation is a partnership of parents and professionals that promotes research, family suppoert, awareness and advocacy. Their Web site provides excellent family resources that are especially helpful if your daughter has just been diagnosed.
- Spanish language resources from the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.
- Information and resources on Rett syndrome at Worldwide Education and Awareness for Movement Disorders (WE MOVE).
- Rett syndrome resources from MedlinePlus.
- Clinical trials on Rett syndrome at ClinicalTrials.gov.
Related topics on YourChild:
- Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)
- Genetic Syndromes
- Speech and Language Delays and Disorders
Compiled by Kyla Boyse, R. N. Reviewed by faculty and staff at the University of Michigan
Updated July 2010
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