locked-in state


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locked-in state

A paralytic condition, superficially resembling coma, in which a person has no voluntary control over somatic muscles but nonetheless remains awake and alert. The locked-in state is usually the result of a lesion of the brainstem, esp. the pons. Because in some patients eye blinking is preserved, communication with locked-in patients is occasionally possible.
Synonym: See: akinetic mutism.