Movement disorders in patients with Rett syndrome: A systematic review of evidence and associated clinical considerations

Jatinder Singh, Evamaria Lanzarini, Nardo Nardocci, Paramala Santosh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This systematic review identified and thematically appraised clinical evidence of movement disorders in patients with Rett syndrome (RTT). Method: Using PRISMA criteria, six electronic databases were searched from inception to April 2021. A thematic analysis was then undertaken on the extracted data to identify potential themes. Results: Following the thematic analysis, six themes emerged: (i) clinical features of abnormal movement behaviors; (ii) mutational profile and its impact on movement disorders; (iii) symptoms and stressors that impact on movement disorders; (iv) possible underlying neurobiological mechanisms; (v) quality of life and movement disorders; and (vi) treatment of movement disorders. Current guidelines for managing movement disorders in general were then reviewed to provide possible treatment recommendations for RTT. Conclusion: Our study offers an enriched data set for clinical investigations and treatment of fine and gross motor issues in RTT. A detailed understanding of genotype–phenotype relationships of movement disorders allows for more robust genetic counseling for families but can also assist healthcare professionals in terms of monitoring disease progression in RTT. The synthesis also showed that environmental enrichment would be beneficial for improving some aspects of movement disorders. The cerebellum, basal ganglia, alongside dysregulation of the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loop, are likely anatomical targets. A review of treatments for movement disorders also helped to provide recommendations for treating and managing movement disorders in patients with RTT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-393
Number of pages25
JournalPsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number12
Early online date21 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • dystonia
  • movement disorders
  • mutations
  • Rett syndrome
  • stereotypies


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