What is Locked-in syndrome?
A person with Locked-in syndrome is completely paralysed and unable to speak, but still aware of their surroundings mentally.
They are usually able to move their eyes and sometimes can communicate through blinking.
There is currently no treatment or cure for Locked-in syndrome, and it is extremely rare for patients to recover all significant motor functions.
What causes Locked-in syndrome?
Locked-in syndrome is most often caused by damage to a specific part of the brain stem known as the pons. Some of the causes of Locked-in syndrome include:
- Brain stem haemorrhage
- Brain tumours
- Brain infections
- Trauma, such as a brain injury
- Medication overdose
Symptoms of Locked-in syndrome
Usually, someone with Locked-in syndrome cannot consciously chew, swallow, breathe or speak.
Supportive care and devices which allow communication by eye movements can help the patient and improve their quality of life.