Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The understanding of this autonomic dysregulation remains incomplete and treatment recommendations are lacking. By searching literature regarding childhood brain injury, we wanted to see whether understanding autonomic dysregulation following childhood brain injury as a prototype can help us better understand the autonomic dysregulation in RTT. Thirty-one (31) articles were identified and following thematic analysis the three main themes that emerged were (A) Recognition of Autonomic Dysregulation, (B) Possible Mechanisms & Assessment of Autonomic Dysregulation and (C) Treatment of Autonomic Dysregulation. We conclude that in patients with RTT (I) anatomically, thalamic and hypothalamic function should be explored, (II) sensory issues and medication induced side effects that can worsen autonomic function should be considered, and (III) diaphoresis and dystonia ought to be better managed. Our synthesis of data from autonomic dysregulation in paediatric brain injury has led to increased knowledge and a better understanding of its underpinnings, leading to the development of application protocols in children with RTT.
- Autonomic dysregulation
- Brain injury
- Emotional behavioural & autonomic dysregulation
- Rett syndrome