Locked in syndrome is not common. In fact, it’s an extremely rare condition with fewer than one case diagnosed per million people. Locked in syndrome leaves the person with an inability to move their limbs or turn their head and with no ability to communicate verbally. However, he or she remains cognitively intact with full reasoning skills.
What Is Locked In Syndrome?
Locked in syndrome most often occurs when there is an injury to the brainstem. In locked in syndrome, the victims suffer both quadriplegia and the inability to communicate verbally. Many need assistance with autonomic functions such as breathing. He or she remains alert and aware, and their cognitive abilities are intact.
While this syndrome has an immediate impact on quality of life, with the right tools and devices, many families can provide a fulfilling life for their loved one with locked in syndrome.
In most cases, those with locked in syndrome cannot make any sounds through the mouth. However, many families learn to communicate using eye movements, eye gaze devices, or brain-computer interface devices.
Causes of Locked In Syndrome
While damage to the brainstem through illness or injury is a known possible cause of locked in syndrome, this can occur in different ways as there are also other potential causes of locked in syndrome. Some causes of this condition may include:
- Strokes affecting the brainstem
- Brain hemorrhage involving the basilar artery which supplies blood to the brain stem
- A lesion or tumor on the brainstem
- Traumatic brain injury, often involving the brainstem
- Poisoning, including snake bites with neurotoxic venom
- Damage to nerve cells and/or the myelin sheath including osmotic demyelination syndrome
Treatment and Care for People With Locked In Syndrome
There is no known treatment or cure for locked in syndrome. Once doctors make the diagnosis, treatment generally focuses on prevention of any further injuries and improving quality of life. Most people never recover motor function, the ability to talk or make any other significant improvements.
Pursue Compensation for Locked In Syndrome
Locked in syndrome may occur because of a traumatic brain injury or medical malpractice. If someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s condition, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for expenses and losses related to their injuries. Our legal team from Newsome | Melton offers free case reviews.
We can help you build a strong case to support the pursuit of compensation for a wide range of damages. This may include your expenses and losses from the initial incident, as well as ongoing care costs. Some of the most common damages in a personal injury case include:
- Medical care
- Ongoing and future care
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Related out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
To learn more about your eligibility to pursue compensation on behalf of your loved one diagnosed with locked in syndrome, call us today at (800) 917-5888. We offer free case evaluations for the families of those with locked in syndrome and similar conditions.