A neurodevelopmental disorder that affects females, Rett syndrome is associated with cortical atrophy, stereotypical hand movements and severe intellectual disability. With an incidence of 1 in 10,000 - 15,000, it is one of the most common causes of intellectual disability in females. Rett syndrome is characterized by loss of acquired skills after a period of normal development in infancy. Most cases of Rett syndrome are caused by an abnormality (missense mutation, nonsense mutation or deletion) of MECP2.
Additionally, a specific phenotype has been identified in males with a MECP2 duplication that is identifiable by MLPA. These males display hypotonia that progresses to spasticity, severe intellectual disability and recurrent pulmonary infections. Females in these families who have the duplication are clinically unaffected and display a near total skewing of X-inactivation.
Sequencing of the MECP2 gene and MLPA deletion/duplication analysis can be ordered concurrently, sequentially or separately.