Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

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

Rotational Acceleration

  • Beth RushEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_274


Angular acceleration


Rotational acceleration is a brain injury resulting from a trauma situation in which the speed of the body is interrupted and unrestricted movement of the head occurs out of synchrony with the movement of the neck, torso, and/or lower limbs of the body. Linear acceleration injuries result from straight-line forces due to a sudden deceleration of the brain moving through space. In contrast, rotational acceleration injuries result from nonlinear forces that twist the brain within the skull.

Current Knowledge

Theoretical and simulation models of rotational acceleration injury have been published with increasing frequency. Although linear acceleration injury and rotational acceleration injury can often occur together, there are some important differences. Linear acceleration injury is often associated with focal brain injuries, whereas rotational acceleration injuries more commonly involve both focal and diffuse brain injury. Holburn (1943) was the...

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References and Readings

  1. Holburn, A. H. S. (1943). Mechanisms of head injury. Lancet, 245, 438–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Viano, D. C., Cassman, I. R., & Pellman, E. J. (2007). Concussion in professional football: Biomechanics of the stuck player-part 14. Neurosurgery, 61, 313–327.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychiatry and PsychologyMayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA