Motor disabilities in the Rett syndrome and physical therapy strategies

Brain Dev. 1990;12(1):157-61. doi: 10.1016/s0387-7604(12)80201-4.


A chart review of 23 girls diagnosed with the Rett syndrome (RS), seen at Oregon Health Sciences University-Child Development and Rehabilitation Center was conducted to identify specific motor problems. Hypotonia, loss of transitional movements, ataxia, motor apraxia, spasticity, kyphoscoliosis, and foot deformities proved to be characteristics of this syndrome. Clinical experience of the author and other therapists involved in the treatment of girls with RS suggests that physical therapy is useful in the management of these patients to maintain or increase motor skills and control deformities. Therapy techniques the author has found useful are presented and responses unique to RS patients are described.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Movement Disorders / etiology*
  • Movement Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Rett Syndrome / complications*
  • Rett Syndrome / physiopathology