Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

pp 1-2

Date: Latest Version

Acceleration Injury


Acceleration-deceleration injury


Traumatic injury to the brain resulting from high-speed acceleration of the brain within the skull cavity in the direction of inertial force.

Current Knowledge

During acceleration injury, movement of the head is unrestricted. One of the most common scenarios resulting in acceleration injury is a high-speed motor vehicle accident. Primary brain injury results from brain tissue and brain structures compressing against one another in the force of inertia. This may result in bruising, hemorrhage, and shearing of the underlying tensile strength of white matter connections deep within the brain. Secondary injury may occur hours or even days after the inciting traumatic event. Secondary effects of injury can include decreased cerebral blood flow, edema, hemorrhage, increased intracranial pressure, and biochemical changes that may cause excitotoxicity and more extensive damage to the surrounding brain structures and their associated connections.

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