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Health Information and Tools > After Brain Injury > Recovery and Rehabilitation >  After Brain Injury Guide: Glasgow Coma Scale and Amnesia
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Recovery and Rehabilitation

Glasgow Coma Scale and Amnesia

Glasgow Coma Scale

The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is used to assess and monitor how well the brain is working. It’s also used as a way of learning how bad the injury is. This scale can help the team decide how much care the person may need.

The total score is out of 15:

  • 8 or below: severe brain injury
  • 9 to 12: a moderate brain injury
  • 13 to 15: a mild brain injury

Amnesia

Anterograde is when there is no memory of things that happen after a brain injury.

Retrograde amnesia is when there is no memory of what happened before the brain injury.

Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) is when there is no memory of what happened at the time around an injury. This is because the brain couldn’t make new memories at the time of the injury.

How long the PTA lasts, the first GCS number, and how long a person is unconscious afterwards helps the team understand how bad the brain injury is. It also helps the team give the person or the family an idea of what the chance of recovery may be and how much he may recover.​​

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