Retts Syndrome - Physical Evolution

Physical Evolution

Rett Syndrome

“Live each day; your condition does not own you. Make every new day better; always remember, you are still in charge.” (Frank C. Church)

What is Rett Syndrome?

Rett Syndrome is a neurological condition characterised by a genetic mutation that affects brain development. The condition is almost only seen in females. Rett Syndrome is a progressive neurodevelopmental disorder eliciting cognitive and physical impairments.

Exercise and Rett Syndrome

At Physical Evolution, our neurological rehabilitation team of Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists strive to enhance the quality of life of people living with Rett Syndrome. We understand the complexity and functional diversity of people living with Rett Syndrome. Therapy aims to preserve or enhance functional abilities and to manage the rate of decline of motor symptoms to preserve autonomy. Early intervention is key to facilitate motor development, reducing abnormal movement patterns, and minimising the onset and severity of the associated symptoms.

Exercise is an evidence-based, safe and effective treatment modality for individuals living with Rett Syndrome. At Physical Evolution, exercise plays a key role in Rett Syndrome management by:

Movement correlates to independence and is also a key component of health. Research suggests that a large amount of individuals with Rett syndrome that can walk independently may lose and regain this ability twice on average. Exercise Physiology and Physiotherapy aims to preserve this ability through movement, strength and balance to facilitate a greater quality of life.

Cardiovascular complications and breathing issues are prevalent in the later stages of Rett Syndrome. Exercise and physical activity may help reduce the risk of secondary health conditions associated with Rett Syndrome.

A neurological injury can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals which may result in an increase in muscle tone. Over-time, prolonged muscle tension may result in a muscle imbalance that has the potential to incur a permanent shortening of a muscle-tendon unit (known as a contracture). Exercise Physiology and Physiotherapy in neurological rehabilitation aim to address muscle imbalances by promoting sufficient range of motion to a joint.

Scoliosis refers to curvature of the spine and can occur in up to 85% of adults with Rett Syndrome. The skeletal disorder is a result of muscle imbalances due to abnormal muscle tone. At Physical Evolution, Exercise Physiology and Physiotherapy aims to promote physical functioning, muscle strength, and joint range of motion to facilitate spinal alignment.

Bone is living tissue that responds to forces placed upon it. Exercise and physical activity promote force through our bones and reduces the rate of bone loss. The higher one’s bone mineral density, the lower their risk of bone fracture.