Predictors of scoliosis in Rett syndrome

J Child Neurol. 2006 Sep;21(9):809-13. doi: 10.1177/08830738060210091501.


Scoliosis is a common clinical manifestation of Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that almost exclusively affects girls. Following apparently normal development, these girls typically regress and lose previously attained cognitive, social, and motor skills. Severe intellectual and physical disabilities remain throughout life. Mutations in the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 gene, MECP2, are detected in approximately 80% of cases and are associated with phenotypic variability. Population-based data on Australian cases were used to study the association between early developmental and genetic factors and the onset of scoliosis. The median age at scoliosis onset was 9.80 years, and three quarters of subjects had developed scoliosis by 13 years of age. Children with compromised early development before 6 months, those who were less mobile at 10 months, and those who never walked were more likely to have an earlier onset of scoliosis. When seven common point mutations and large genomic and C-terminal deletions were compared, the R294X mutation appeared to provide some protective effect against the development of scoliosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2 / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Rett Syndrome / complications*
  • Rett Syndrome / genetics
  • Risk Factors
  • Scoliosis / diagnosis*
  • Scoliosis / etiology*
  • Scoliosis / genetics


  • MECP2 protein, human
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2