Locked-in syndrome has been referred to as the closest thing to being buried alive. It is a state in which the body cannot move, and there is no way for verbal communication. The person may still be able to blink and move their eyes. Locked-in syndrome is due to brainstem lesions the anterior ventral, which is part of the pons is severely damaged. The disease is caused by lower brain damage. The condition can be brought on by diseases of the circulatory system, stroke or brain hemorrhage, nerve cell damage, and medication overdose.
People with locked-in syndrome are still aware of things that are going on around them. They can still hear what people are saying, and may still have emotions. Patients with locked-in syndrome usually will become quadriplegic. It is important to treat patients with locked-in syndrome as any other patient. These patients are very aware, and remain conscious to what is being said around them. It is important to speak with compassion and understanding when dealing with a person with locked-in syndrome. Sometimes, when individuals cannot speak or properly respond they are treated as they are not fully alert. However, this is not the case with locked-in syndrome patients.
Those with the condition may be able to use other forms to communicate with others around them. They may be able to use their eyes to blink to answer yes, and no questions, or they may be able to curve their eyes around to specific objects in the room. These patients are still in a good state of mind.
There is no known treatment for the locked-in syndrome, and the condition cannot be reversed. The prognosis for individuals with locked-in syndrome is not good. It is estimated that 90percent of those with the condition will die within the first four months of acquiring locked-in syndrome. There are some, who have been an exception and lived a little longer.
Research is being done on locked-in syndrome to see what can be done to prevent the condition. People with locked in syndrome are probably afraid, and scared about what is happening to them. It can only be horrifying to have to live being locked-in. They want to speak and cannot speak; they want to move and cannot move. No can truly understand the feelings, and emotions these people are going through.
Individuals can find literature, and read about others, who have had to live with family members in a locked-in syndrome situation. The information is available online and most public libraries.