[stoo-per, styoo-]
Stupor is the lack of critical cognitive function and level of consciousness wherein a sufferer is almost entirely unresponsive and only responds to base stimuli such as pain. The word derives from the Latin stupure, meaning insensible. Being characterised by impairments of reactions to external stimuli, it usually appears in infectious diseases, complicated toxic states, severe hypothermia, mental illnesses (e.g. schizophrenia), vascular illnesses (e.g. hypertensive encephalopathy), neoplasms (e.g. brain tumors), vitamin D deficiency and so on.


If not stimulated externally, a patient with Stupor will be in a sleepy mode most of the time. Short periods of restricted responsivity can be achieved by intense stimulation (e.g. pain, bright light, loud noise).

Localisation of brain lesions

Lesions of the Ascending Reticular Activation System on height of the Pons and Metencephalon have been shown to cause Stupor. The incidence is higher after left-sided lesions.

See also


  • Ahuja 4th Edition Page 206 ISBN 81-7179-662-1
  • Zakboek Neuropsychologische Symptomatologie Page 37 ISBN 90-334-3995-6

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