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    Rett Syndrome

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Rett Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • RTT
    • classic Rett syndrome
    • variant (atypical) Rett syndrome

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • None

    General Discussion

    Summary
    Rett syndrome is a progressive neurodevelopmental disorder that almost exclusively affects females. Only in rare cases are males affected. Infants with Rett syndrome generally develop normally for about 7 to 18 months after birth. At this point, they lose previously acquired skills (developmental regression) such as purposeful hand movements and the ability to communicate. Additional abnormalities occur including impaired control of voluntary movements (ataxia) and the development of distinctive, uncontrolled hand movements such as hand clapping or rubbing. Some children also have slowing of head growth (acquired microcephaly), Affected children often develop autistic-like behaviors, breathing irregularities, feeding and swallowing difficulties, growth retardation, and seizures. Most Rett syndrome cases are caused by identifiable mutations of the MECP2 gene on the X chromosome and can present with a wide range of disability ranging from mild to severe. The course and severity of Rett syndrome is determined by the location, type and severity of the MECP2 mutation and the process of random X-inactivation (see Causes section below). Therefore, two girls of the same age with the same mutation can appear significantly different.

    Introduction
    Rett syndrome was first described in the medical literature by an Austrian physician named Andreas Rett in 1960s. Many researchers now consider Rett syndrome as part of a spectrum of disease relating to mutations of the MECP2 gene. This spectrum, sometimes referred to as MECP2-related disorders, includes classic Rett syndrome, variant Rett syndrome, MECP2-related severe neonatal encephalopathy, and PPM-X syndrome. Another disorder, MECP2 duplication syndrome, has recently been described in the medical literature. This disorder is caused by duplicated material involving the MECP2 gene on the X chromosome.

    Resources

    WE MOVE (Worldwide Education and Awareness for Movement Disorders)
    5731 Mosholu Avenue
    Bronx, NY 10471
    USA
    Tel: (347)843-6132
    Fax: (718)601-5112
    Email: wemove@wemove.org
    Internet: http://www.wemove.org

    March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
    1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
    White Plains, NY 10605
    Tel: (914)997-4488
    Fax: (914)997-4763
    Tel: (888)663-4637
    Email: Askus@marchofdimes.com
    Internet: http://www.marchofdimes.com

    The Arc
    1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200
    Washington, DC 20006
    Tel: (202)534-3700
    Fax: (202)534-3731
    Tel: (800)433-5255
    TDD: (817)277-0553
    Email: info@thearc.org
    Internet: http://www.thearc.org

    International Rett Syndrome Foundation
    4600 Devitt Dr.
    Cincinnati, OH 45246
    USA
    Tel: (800)818-7388
    Email: irsa@rettsyndrome.org
    Internet: http://www.rettsyndrome.org

    NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda, MD 20824
    Tel: (301)496-5751
    Fax: (301)402-2186
    Tel: (800)352-9424
    TDD: (301)468-5981
    Internet: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

    New Horizons Un-Limited, Inc.
    811 East Wisconsin Ave
    P.O. Box 510034
    Milwaukee, WI 53203
    USA
    Tel: (414)299-0124
    Fax: (414)347-1977
    Email: horizons@new-horizons.org
    Internet: http://www.new-horizons.org

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    Madisons Foundation
    PO Box 241956
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    Tel: (310)264-0826
    Fax: (310)264-4766
    Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

    Child Neurology Foundation
    201 Chicago Ave, #200
    Minneapolis, MN 55415
    USA
    Tel: (952)641-6100
    Fax: (952)881-6276
    Tel: (877)263-5430
    Email: jstone@childneurologyfoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.childneurologyfoundation.org

    Medical Home Portal
    Dept. of Pediatrics
    University of Utah
    P.O. Box 581289
    Salt Lake City, UT 84158
    Tel: (801)587-9978
    Fax: (801)581-3899
    Email: mindy.tueller@utah.edu
    Internet: http://www.medicalhomeportal.org

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 10/11/2012
    Copyright 1986, 1987, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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