This gene makes a protein, also called MeCP2 (but written differently), which is necessary for normal brain function.
In 2007, researchers at a lab at the University of Edinburgh were able to demonstrate that Rett Syndrome is hypothetically reversible in mice. They did by genetically engineering mice so that they could be born without functioning MeCP2 protein and with, in layman's terms, 'a switch,' which could enable researchers to switch the protein back on when they were ready.
The mice were born and quickly developed Rett symptoms after birth.
When researchers swtiched the protein back on, they found that the Rett Syndrome were reversed, even in older mice.
These experiments provided proof of principle that Rett Syndrome is a reversible condition.
The mice in these experiments were genetically engineered to have the switch before birth. People with Rett Syndrome do not have such a switch and therefore we have to find another way to correct the problem.
To better understand the reversal experiments, please watch the short video below:
Putting the protein back
We know that if we can get the MeCP2 protein back, at least in mice that the symptoms go away.
We know that Rett Syndrome is a reversible disorder and that many of the symptoms could be managed, either individually or in combination.
Understanding the causes
We don’t know enough about the underlying causes of Rett Syndrome, which stops us being able to find rational ways to fix the problem.
There is no simple answer to how long it will take to deliver a cure for Rett Syndrome. The only thing we know for sure is that the answers we need will only come through concentrated scientific research.
We also know that if we fund the right research, it will very likely happen faster.
The information here is designed to be simple and easy to read. For more complex information about the science behind Rett Syndrome, please go to the Genetics 101 section of the Rett Syndrome Research Trust website where you can also find detailed information regarding your child's mutation.