Rett Syndrome: How common is it?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 20, 2014
Quick Bites

  • Rett syndrome occurs exclusively in girls.
  • The symptoms cannot be seen in the first 6 months of birth.
  • The syndrome affects the development of brain.
  • The disease takes place in 4 stages.

What is Rett Syndrome?

Rett syndrome is a genetic disease which affects only the females in which the development of the brain is hindered. Girls born with the disease usually appear to be normal in the beginning and the symptoms start showing up after 6 months.
Children with the syndrome experience problems with movement, coordination, and communication having an effect on their walk and hands.

Rett Syndrome

What are the symptoms?

Children with Rett syndrome are born after a normal pregnancy and delivery. They tend to look normal in the first 6 month of their birth and the most evident symptoms start occurring after 12 to 18 months of birth.
The symptoms include:

  • Slow Growth
  • Inability to move and coordinate
  • Loss of communication and thinking skills
  • Unusual hand movements
  • Troubles breathing
  • Irritability
  • Abnormal behaviour of the child
  • Seizure
  • Abnormal structure of the spine
  • Constipation


Rett Syndrome

Stages of Rett Syndrome

Rett syndrome normally occurs in 4 stages:

  • Stage I: The symptoms of the first stage are not noticeable and usually skip notice. The first stage starts at the age of 6-18 months. Babies at this stage do not make eye contact and show no interest in toys.
  • Stage II: This stage starts at the age of 1 and 4 years and babies at this stage lose their ability to talk and start using their hands to communicate.
  • Stage III: At this stage the child movement troubles persist however, behaviour of the child may improve. This stage occurs at 2-10 years of age. The child becomes less irritable and cried less.
  • Stage IV: At this stage, the movement stops completely, muscles weaken and scoliosis occurs.

Read more on Rett Syndrome.

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