The relationship between neuropsychological function and brain damage detected by neuroimaging after closed head injury

Brain Inj. Oct-Dec 1990;4(4):349-63. doi: 10.3109/02699059009026188.


Studies relating neuropsychology and structural neuroimaging after closed head injury are reviewed. Particular attention is given to the question of the relative contribution of focal and diffuse damage to neuropsychological impairment. The evidence currently available emphasizes the importance of diffuse damage in closed head injury. Diffuse damage is not equally distributed in the brain, and the review suggests three axes that are relevant for neuropsychological function: (1) damage may be unilateral or bilateral, (2) damage is characteristically greater in anterior regions than posterior regions, and (3) damage shows a centripetal gradient. A large gap remains between the emergent generalizations concerning head injury and reliable neuropsychological interpretation of scans from individual patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests*