Original article| Volume 42, ISSUE 10, P705-712, November 2020

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Meaningful word acquisition is associated with walking ability over 10 years in Rett syndrome



      To investigate walking ability in Japanese patients with Rett syndrome (RTT).


      Walking ability was assessed in 100 female Japanese patients with RTT using univariate and multivariate analysis in all age groups, and in patients over 10 years of age. We analyzed walking ability and confounding factors including prenatal-perinatal histories, developmental milestones, somatic and head growth, anthropometric data, body mass index, age of loss of purposeful hand use, age at onset of stereotypic hand movement, history of autistic behavior, age at regression, presence or absence of seizures, and the results of MECP2 genetic examination from the Japanese Rett syndrome database.


      Univariate analysis revealed that acquisition of walking in all age groups was significantly correlated with the acquisition of meaningful words, microcephaly, and crawling (P < 0.0001, P = 0.005, P < 0.0001, respectively). Univariate analysis revealed that walking ability over 10 years of age was significantly correlated with acquisition of meaningful words, microcephaly, and body mass index (P < 0,0001, P = 0.005, P = 0.0018, respectively). MECP2 mutations R306C, R133C, and R294X were significantly associated with different acquisition of crawling (P = 0.004) and walking (P = 0.01). Multivariate analysis revealed that only acquisition of meaningful words was significantly correlated with walking ability over 10 years of age. This trend excluded the genetic effects of R306C, R133C, and R294X.


      Meaningful word acquisition was robustly associated with walking ability over 10 years. Prognosis of walking ability may be predicted by the acquisition of meaningful words. This information is potentially useful for early intervention and the planning of comprehensive treatment for young children with RTT.


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