Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

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

Diffuse Axonal Injury

  • Beth RushEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_234




One of the major types of traumatic brain injury that results from acceleration-deceleration effects rather than direct impact on the brain. Typically, the injury is the result of high-speed situations such as motor vehicle accidents or violent shaking of the head from side to side. The forceful motion of injury disturbs the delicate underlying white matter tracts of the brain that are responsible for connecting the functional areas controlling motor skills, cognitive skills, language skills, and behavior. Because each neural cell or vessel has a fixed length and is held in position along its path by other cells, there is limited elasticity in any cell or vessel. Thus, acceleration-deceleration forces can disrupt cells and vessels despite an absence of direct trauma to the cell or vessel. Damage may result from stretching, twisting, or rotation. Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is more likely to occur with lateral movements of the brain and least likely to occur with...

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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.Psychiatry and PsychologyMayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA