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Rett Syndrome and Epilepsy: An Update for Child Neurologists

      Abstract

      Rett syndrome, a neurogenetic disorder predominantly affecting females, has many characteristic features including psychomotor retardation, impaired language development, hand stereotypies, gait dysfunction, and acquired microcephaly. Although each of these features undoubtedly contributes to the morbidity of this neurologic disorder, epilepsy is perhaps one of the most well-described and problematic, affecting as many as 50%-90% of patients. Seizures can often be refractory, requiring polytherapy and consideration of nonpharmacologic management (e.g., ketogenic diets and vagus nerve stimulation). In addition, many nonepileptic symptoms of Rett syndrome can occasionally be difficult to differentiate from seizures making clinical management and family counseling challenging. Our goal in this review is to better define the clinical and electrophysiological aspects of the epilepsy associated with Rett syndrome and provide practical guidance regarding management.
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      Linked Article

      • Video-Polygraphy in Rett Syndrome
        Pediatric NeurologyVol. 50Issue 2
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          We read with great interest the article by Dolce et al.1 on Rett syndrome and epilepsy. In particular, the authors outline that epilepsy in Rett syndrome may easily be mistaken and a myriad of behaviors may be inappropriately classified as epileptic events. In fact, epileptic seizures, movement disorders, and breathing disturbances may be observed, and a correct differential diagnosis is mandatory for the management of Rett syndrome. Long-term video-polygraphic monitoring is a safe diagnostic tool that provides a high diagnostic yield rate and a direct adjustment of therapeutic management of patients with epilepsy and nonepileptic paroxysmal events.
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