Black Out Rett Syndrome (Rett Syndrome Awareness Month)

Along with being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October is Rett Syndrome Awareness Month.

Rett Syndrome is brain disorder that almost exclusively affects females.  It’s frequently confused with Angelman syndrome, cerebral palsy, and autism.

How Rett Syndrome Works

Like most neural diseases, Rett Syndrome (or RTT) is pretty complicated.  Allow me to simplify it as best as I can.

RTT is caused by a mutation in a gene located in the X chromosome.  The disease is not heredity as 95{4484a610ba12ad46baec767347073917e486819a83b2d744ced0feda89144e79} of parents are shown to have un-mutated X chromosomes.  The mutation causes problems with cognition, senses, emotions, and motor functions.

This typically results in loss of communication, both verbal and physical as hands lack purposeful use.  Many people with RTT are also very prone to seizures.  Often, a certain degree of motor function can be retained.  Eye contact can also improve.

The important thing is that through care, therapy, and a little love, those who experience this condition can make great progress and express themselves in wonderful ways.

Why is it Typically Found in Females?

Since Rett Syndrome is something people are born with, it takes effect almost right away.

The mutation is found in a singular X chromosome.  Women have two X chromosomes, which means they have an un-mutated X chromosome to carry on normal functions.  In the case of men with RTT, however, they have no normal X gene.  They have a Y chromosome and the mutated X chromosome.

Because of this, most men born with RTT rarely make it to term.

Raising Awareness

This past Friday, famed country musician Clint Black held a benefit concert in Baton Rouge.  The night was dedicated to Clint’s neice who lost her battle to Rett Syndrome.  All proceeds went to fund research.  The concert was part of the campaign “Black Out Rett Syndrome”.  You can view a PSA by Clint Black below.

If you would like to know more about Rett Syndrome or would like to help with awareness or funding, you can visit the official site here.

« Back to Blog