Definition of locked-in syndrome in US English:

locked-in syndrome


  • A medical condition, usually resulting from a stroke that damages part of the brainstem, in which the body and most of the facial muscles are paralyzed but consciousness remains and the ability to perform certain eye movements is preserved.

    • ‘This is the story of Nick, who has lived with locked-in syndrome since 2000.’
    • ‘His narrative is interspersed with information on his condition and a commentary on the clinical and ethical issues that arise in locked-in syndrome.’
    • ‘Diagnosis of the locked-in syndrome is established by clinical examination.’
    • ‘One German patient with locked-in syndrome demonstrated telekinesis by "writing" a letter to his doctors, manipulating letters on a computer screen via an electrode apparatus on his head.’
    • ‘In December 1995, at the age of 43, the author suffered a sudden and severe stroke in the brain stem and emerged from a coma several weeks later to find himself in a rare condition called "locked-in syndrome" (LIS).’
    • ‘When the clinicians appreciated that the diagnosis was locked-in syndrome, the climate of care changed.’
    • ‘Locked-in syndrome is caused either by a lesion in the brainstem (usually vascular) or by extensive demyelination, denying the brain its peripheral connections.’
    • ‘One of the conditions that can be confused with persistent vegetative state is locked-in syndrome.’
    • ‘However, in a report of two patients with chronic locked-in syndrome, neuropsychological assessment showed preserved cognitive abilities.’
    • ‘Therefore in locked-in syndrome we can, and do, make mistakes about what is happening to the patient.’
    • ‘In one group of patients who recovered from locked-in syndrome, six out of 44 reported visual deficits and 39 stated that they cried or laughed more easily since the onset.’
    • ‘The diagnosis of locked-in syndrome is often triggered by a member of the care staff or family reporting awareness.’
    • ‘The acute management of patients with locked-in syndrome is similar to that for patients with other acute brain stem insults.’
    • ‘Nick, aged 23 at the time, was plunged into locked-in syndrome by a dissection of the vertebral arteries during a rugby game.’
    • ‘It is particularly important to be sure that there has not been localized damage to the brain stem with sparing of the cortex, resulting in the 'locked-in syndrome'.’
    • ‘The locked-in syndrome is caused by an insult to the ventral pons, most commonly an infarct, haemorrhage, or trauma.’
    • ‘A PET scan may provide some proof of higher functioning, but its use to distinguish between locked-in syndrome and persistent vegetative state is still considered investigational.’
    • ‘Locked-in syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because some patients emerge from coma into a locked-in state after a variable delay.’
    • ‘Locked-in syndrome (also known as coma vigilante) poses problems for clinicians, who just do not understand that their patient is a silent and unresponsive witness to everything that is happening.’
    • ‘Patients with transient locked-in syndrome improve neurologically; an episode of locked-in syndrome that lasted only a few minutes, with good recovery, has been reported.’