Medical Dictionary

locked-in syndrome

noun

medical Definition of locked-in syndrome

: the condition of an awake and conscious patient who because of motor paralysis throughout the body is unable to communicate except possibly by coded eye movements
  • Trapped in their own bodies, the people who suffer from what is sometimes called locked-in syndrome are lucky if they can communicate their needs with a blink or a raised eyebrow.
  • DiscoverFebruary 1999
  • The locked-in syndrome results from brainstem lesions which disrupt the voluntary control of movement without abolishing either arousal or the content of awareness.
  • —Adam ZemanThe Lancet13 Sept. 1997

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