Locked-in syndrome (LIS) Harmony Healthcare March 10, 2023

Locked-in syndrome (LIS)

Locked-in syndrome (LIS) is a devastating condition that can result in complete paralysis of the entire body, except for the eyes

It is caused by damage to the brain stem, which controls important functions such as breathing, heartbeat, and consciousness. Individuals with LIS are awake and aware but are unable to communicate or move any part of their body except for their eyes.

Symptoms of LIS

Symptoms of LIS can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but the most common symptom is complete paralysis of the limbs and trunk, including the facial muscles. Individuals with LIS may be able to blink, move their eyes, or make small facial expressions, but they cannot speak or make any other voluntary movements.

LIS can be caused by a variety of conditions, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, and some neurological disorders. It is a rare condition, affecting an estimated 1 in 1 million people.

Living with LIS

Living with LIS can be incredibly challenging, both for the individual and their loved ones. Communication is a significant obstacle, as individuals with LIS may be unable to express their thoughts or needs. However, there are several communication methods that can be used, including eye gaze technology, which allows individuals to communicate using eye movements, or alternative and augmentative communication devices that use head movements or other means to control a computer or voice output device.
Despite the challenges, many individuals with LIS have shown remarkable resilience and have been able to find ways to communicate, engage with their surroundings, and even achieve remarkable accomplishments. For example, Jean-Dominique Bauby, the former editor of the French magazine Elle, wrote a memoir entitled “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” using only his left eyelid to dictate each letter of the book.

Treatment for LIS

In cases where the elderly person usually has quite an active social life, but suddenly doesn’t want to do anything, this could be a sign that they are feeling low. Feelings of depression tend to go together with a longing to stay indoors and not do very much. This is something to keep a careful watch over.
Treatment for LIS is primarily focused on providing supportive care, such as physical therapy to prevent muscle atrophy and prevent contractures and addressing any complications such as infections or bedsores. There is currently no cure for LIS, and recovery from the condition is rare.

How Harmony Healthcare Can Help People with Locked-in syndrome?

At Harmony Healthcare, we promote humanised services driven by empathy, accepting individuals for who they are.

Our experienced and caring support workers support people with complex needs while showing them the respect and empathy they deserve.

Contact us today and allow us to take care of your loved ones.

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