Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version

Electrical Brain Injury

  • Bradley J. HuffordAffiliated withNeuropsychology, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana Email author 


Electrical injury; Electrocution; Lightning injury


For the purposes of this entry, “electrical brain injury” (EBI) refers to cerebral damage, system dysfunction, or death sustained from direct or indirect exposure to an electric current or source. Following the conventions generally present in the literature, the term “electrical injury” (EI) is used to distinguish injuries due to man-made sources of electricity from natural sources, referred to as “lightning injury” (LI).

Historical Background

Records of electricity-related injuries related to natural phenomena date back to the beginning of recorded history in cultures across the globe. Injury sustained from man-made electrical power is understandably a more recent occurrence, as generated electricity is a relatively modern development.

An appreciation of the safety risks of electrical power grew as the technology to harness and apply electricity for commercial and residential use became more common in the middle of the ...

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