Pain sensation of individuals with Rett syndrome: A literature review

Meir Lotan, Alon Kalron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rett syndrome (RS) is a developmental disorder caused by a faulty gene on the X chromosome. Since RS is characterized by an arrest of brain development individuals with RS are challenged daily by a multitude of difficulties, among them immature sensory processing. Despite the fact that this issue has been mentioned repeatedly, no actual research has investigated the sensory system of individuals with RS. Reduced pain sensation has been mentioned in the past in regard to this population, but it has remained an observed phenomenon. Due to the importance of our pain system as an alert mechanism it was the intention of this article to explore the literature in an attempt to collect data that will shed light on the phenomenon of pain sensation by individuals with RS. Each section initially presents the upto-date knowledge regarding normative function of the pain system in the human body and than presents the corresponding findings in regards to pain system of individuals with RS. The collected evidence suggests that many sub-systems within the pain sensation/processing route are functioning abnormally for individuals with RS. It seems that the overall abnormalities of the pain system of individuals with RS suggest towards a reduce pain sensation in this population, but this assumption needs further scientific investigation before it could be considered as evidence based.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pain Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Disability
  • Intellectual disability
  • Pain
  • Rett syndrome
  • Sensory processing


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