October is Rett Syndrome Awareness Month and every two hours a girl is born with this disorder.
Rett syndrome is a genetic neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in females. It becomes apparent after six to 18 months of early normal development.
The disorder manifests itself as a regression that leads to lifelong impairments. It is often misdiagnosed as autism or cerebral palsy and has no cure. Those inflicted with this disorder have no purposeful hand use due to their repetitive hand movements, hand wringing and mouthing.
Speech is lost, seizures develop and scoliosis occurs. Irregular breathing patterns, hyperventilation and breath holding take place. More than half of the girls and women lose their ability to walk. Those diagnosed with Rett syndrome require maximum assistance with even the most basic daily activities.
The International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) is the largest, most comprehensive and focused not-for-profit organization for parents, scientists, interested professionals and others concerned with Rett syndrome.
The mission of IRSF is to accelerate research for treatments and a cure for Rett syndrome while improving the quality of life for those living with this complicated syndrome by providing life-saving information, programs, services, and support forums.
To learn more about IRSF and Rett syndrome, visit http://www.rettsyndrome.org or call IRSF at 1-800-818-RETT (7388).