Locked-in syndrome, or latch syndrome, is a condition in which the patient is conscious and awake, but cannot move or communicate due to complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles in the body. It is the result of a stroke in the brainstem in which the ventral part of the brain stem (corresponding to the pyramidal bundles) is damaged. It results in quadriplegia and inability to speak in individuals who are otherwise cognitively intact. Patients with “locked-in” syndrome can communicate with other people, either by coding the closing of the eyelids or by moving their eyes, since their nerve centers and their afferent pathways to the optic and oculo-motor nerves (cranial nerves II, III, IV) are not damaged by damage to the pyramidal bundle due to paralysis to the rest of the motor cranial nerves (nerves VI, VII, IX, XI, XII), as well as to all other nerves that originate from spinal cord roots.

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