Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Minimally Conscious State

  • Travis WilliamsEmail author
  • Jacob Kean
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_258


Minimally responsive state

Short Description or Definition

The minimally conscious state (MCS) is a point along a continuum of consciousness in which the patient demonstrates limited awareness of self and the environment. MCS is characterized by inconsistent but appropriate verbal or gestural response, intelligible verbalization, and nonreflexive purposeful behavior.


MCS was a term created to differentially describe patients with partial consciousness and limited cognitive function from those in a vegetative state, who have no consciousness or cognitive function. MCS was defined by The Aspen Neurobehavioral Conference Work Group (Giacino et al. 2002) as “a condition of severely altered consciousness in which minimal, but definite, behavioral evidence of self or environmental awareness is demonstrated.” The Aspen Work Group developed the definition in response to inappropriate false-positive and false-negative diagnoses of vegetative state, the lack of...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationIndiana UniversityIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA