Skip to main content

Locked in syndrome

Published November 2012

Download the full evidence summary PDF: Locked in syndrome

PLEASE NOTE: This summary was produced more than 4 years ago. Information provided may be out of date. If you think it would be helpful to update this summary please contact us at

What were we asked?

A parent wanted to know about locked-in syndrome, recovery, and what methods of rehab are available.

Key findings

  • Locked-in syndrome (LIS) is when a person experiences total paralysis of all the muscles in the body.
  • There is no cure or standard treatment for locked-in syndrome.
  • Therapy for LIS usually involves a combination of physiotherapy, speech and communication training and swallowing training which have been shown to have a positive effect on people with LIS.
  • The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website has some good background information about LIS, and some links to websites which publish information about clinical trials.

Note: This information is produced by PenCRU researchers and reviewed by external experts. The views expressed are those of PenCRU at the University of Exeter Medical School and do not represent the views of the Cerebra charity, or any other parties mentioned. We strongly recommend seeking medical advice before undertaking any treatments/therapies.