Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

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

Head Injury

  • Samantha BackhausEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_243


Brain injury; Head trauma


A head injury is any trauma that can result in damage to the skull, scalp, or brain tissue. Head injuries can be open or closed. An open or penetrating injury means that an object pierces through the skull and enters brain tissue, or one in which there is a fracture of the skull or opening of meninges. A closed injury involves a blow to the head from being struck by an object or person; however, there is no penetration of an object into the skull or brain tissue.

Current Knowledge


Causes of head injury often include falls, motor vehicle accidents, violent incidents such as gunshot wounds or assaults, sports-related injuries, military, and other accidents at home or work.


Various characteristics of head injuries correlate with the severity of intracranial injury.

Extracranial injury without brain injury: An injury to the outside of the cerebral cortex not causing internal or intracranial damage.

Concussion: A concussion occurs...

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References and Readings

  1. Fusco, E. (2005). Head injury. Retrieved 26 Dec 2007, from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/head_injury/article_em.htm.
  2. Gennarelli, T. A., & Graham, D. I. (2005). Neuropathology. In J. M. Silver, T. W. McAllister, & S. C. Yudofsky (Eds.), Textbook of traumatic brain injury (pp. 27–50). Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Lucas, J. A. (1998). Traumatic brain injury and postconcussive syndrome. In P. J. Snyder, & P. D. Nussbaum (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology: A pocket handbook for assessment (pp. 243-303). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  4. Perez, E. (2007). Head injury. Retrieved 26 Dec 2007, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000028.htm.
  5. Putukian, M. (2001). Head injuries. In W. E. Garrett Jr., D. T. Kirkendall, & D. L. Squire (Eds.), Principles and practice of primary care sports medicine (pp. 331–352). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeuropsychologyRehabilitation Hospital of IndianaIndianapolisUSA