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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Locked-in syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Locked in syndrome
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Locked-in syndrome is a rare neurological disorder. Signs and symptoms include paralysis of voluntary muscles in the body, except for those that control eye movement.Individuals with locked-in syndrome are conscious and can think and reason, but are unable to speak or move.  It may be caused by brain stem stroke, traumatic brain injury, diseases of the circulatory system, diseases that destroy the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells, or medication overdose.[1]
Last updated: 7/30/2010


  1. NINDS Locked-In Syndrome Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2007; Accessed 7/30/2010.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • MeSH® (Medical Subject Headings) is a terminology tool used by the National Library of Medicine. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Locked-in syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles

Press Releases

  • has an article on a sniffing device that allows people with locked-in syndrome to communicate and move a wheelchair. To read more click on the link above.