loss of muscle function in one or more muscles

Paralysis is the complete loss of muscle function for one or more muscle groups, when the thing that is paralysed cannot move.

Paralysis is most often caused by damage to the nervous system or brain, especially the spinal cord. Major causes are stroke, trauma, poliomyelitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), botulism, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Partial paralysis can also occur in the REM stage of sleep (see:Sleep paralysis). Paralysis often includes loss of feeling in the affected area.

Types of paralysis change

Hemiplegia change

In hemiplegia, one side of your body is paralysed.

Monoplegia change

During monoplegia, only one limb is unable to move.

Paraplegia change

In paraplegia, both legs are unable to move.

Quadriplegia change

The most extreme form of paralysis. The whole body from the neck down can't move.

Locked-in syndrome change

Paralysis of the whole body.