Rett syndrome is a rare non-inherited genetic postnatal neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls and leads to severe impairments, affecting nearly every aspect of the child’s life: their ability to speak, walk, eat, and even breathe easily. The hallmark of Rett syndrome is near constant repetitive hand movements while awake. Cognitive assessment in children with Rett syndrome is complicated, but we know that they understand far more than they can communicate to us, evidenced by their bright and attentive eyes, and their ability to express a wide spectrum of moods and emotions.
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What is Rett syndrome?
Rett syndrome is a unique postnatal neurological disorder that is first recognized in infancy and seen almost always in girls, but can be rarely seen in boys.
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More about the diagnosis & genetic testing
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Find a list of common terms related to Rett syndrome. Some of these terms are used to describe conditions that explain Rett syndrome while others are used to rule out Rett syndrome.
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In 1954, Dr. Andreas Rett, a pediatrician in Vienna, Austria, first noticed two girls as they sat in his waiting room making the same repetitive hand-washing motions.
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