Rett Syndrome

By Brittany Donahue 1st period

What is Rett Syndrome?

Rett Syndrome is a nervous system disorder that causes a lack of development. Main problems of the syndrome concern hand movement and communicational skills.

There are three main types of Rett Syndrome:

  • Atypical (appears in a male (or) begins very early or late)
  • Classical (meets the diagnostic criteria)
  • Provisional (some symptoms appear between one and three years old)

Symptoms of Rett Syndrome

If you have Rett Syndrome, you will have the majority of these symptoms. Main problems are Seizures, lack of mandatory hand movement, and poor communicational skills.

Other effects include:

  • poor circulation
  • problems in brain function
  • disorganized breathing problems while awake
  • inconsolable crying
  • shows full range of emotions
  • excessive drooling/saliva
  • scoliosis
  • severe language development problems

Long Term Effects

The first signs of Rett Syndrome appear in infancy. Normal growth takes place for about 6 to 18 months before the symptoms begin to appear. The infant's development rate starts slowing down dramatically. Over time, the brain function also begins to slow down. In Rett Syndrome, the brain lacks proper function in the cognitive, sensory, motor, autonomic, and emotional sections. This makes learning twice as hard. Everyday things such as chewing and swallowing are even difficult to perform. People that have Rett Syndrome have a hard time controlling their breathing rates, speech, mood, sensory, and cardiac functions.


Some genetic disorders don't have any treatments or cures for them. There are no known cures for Rett Syndrome yet, however there are ways to help improve your symptoms. Physical therapy and hand involved activities can help with un-necessary hand gestures. Medications can be taken to reduce the amount of seizures you have over a certain period of time. Speech therapy can also be taken to improve verbal communication. Another thing that you can do help someone who has Rett Syndrome, is help feeding them. Since they cannot control their hands, somebody needs to help them eat, get dressed, and bathe. Just because their brains don't work like ours do, does not mean that we just give up on them. Treatments like these can help those who have this genetic disease.

Extra essential facts about Rett Syndrome

Rett Syndrome has been misdiagnosed before as Autism or Cerebral Palsy. This development disorder effects all ethnic and racial groups all around the world. It occurs worldwide in 1 in every 10,000-23,000 people. It is very rare, but thousands still have this crucial disease. Rett Syndrome almost always appears in girls. Females have a greater chance of getting this disorder because we all have two X Chromosomes. Males have a smaller chance of receiving this disorder because they have an X and a Y Chromosome. (Remember that this genetic mutation is formed on an X chromosome.) If a male does end up getting Rett Syndrome, it can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or very early death.