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Reviewing the Rancho Los Amigos Levels of Cognitive Functioning

Most of the Bozeman clients that come to see us here at Cok Kinzler PLLP after having had a loved one experience a traumatic brain injury share the same question: to what extent will he or she recover? If you are in this same situation, it may pain you to hear that there may be no definitive answer. However, there are medical designations that assign a level of severity to a TBI and indicate one’s level of impairment.

The Rancho Los Amigos Levels of Cognitive Functioning (or RLCF) scale is so named due to its association with the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, California. These levels are meant to describe your loved one’s cognitive functioning at various stages of his or her rehabilitation. According to the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, they are:

  •          Level I – No response to external stimuli
  •          Level II – General (often inconsistent) indirect  response to stimuli
  •          Level III – Direct localized (though inconsistent) response to stimuli
  •          Level IV – Extreme confusion and agitation
  •          Level V – Inaccurate response to commands with lingering confusion
  •          Level VI – Accurate response to commands with lingering confusion

Once your family member or friend has reached Levels VII – X, he or she is basically able to complete his or her daily routine. At Level VII, most confusion issues will be gone, and at Level VIII, he or she should have functioning memory. Levels IX and X may see him or her functioning independently, with a potential need for assistance or while experiencing occasional cognitive delays.

RLCF scores are given throughout the recovery process and, in some cases, used to predict one’s potential for recovery. Keep in mind, however, that each case if different. You can learn more about dealing with the aftermath of a brain injury by continuing to browse through our site. 

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