News And Notes

March 12 is Brain Injury Awareness Day

WASHINGTON, DC -- March 12 is Brain Injury Awareness Day. Men's Health Network (MHN) has joined a nationwide network of state brain injury organizations affiliated with the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), including self-advocates, families and volunteers across the nation, to recognize this awareness period.

"Brain Injury Awareness Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness among all Americans about the short and long-term effects of brain injury, not only on the lives of those injured but also on their families," said Eleanor M. Perfetto, PhD, MS, pharmaceutical health services research professor, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. "My husband suffered from dementia that was the result of repetitive brain injury that occurred playing football. Brain Injury Awareness Day is an opportunity for families to understand how serious sports-related brain injury can be and to take steps toward prevention and appropriate treatment when it happens."

TBI is a blow, jolt or bump to the head, or it can be a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBIs are caused by falls (35%), car crashes (17%), workplace accidents (16%), assaults (10%), and other causes (21%).

"Since anyone can sustain a brain injury at any time, it is important for everyone to have access to comprehensive rehabilitation and ongoing disease management," said Brent Masel, national medical director, Brain Injury Association of America. "Doing so eases medical complications, permanent disability, family dysfunction, job loss, homelessness, impoverishment, medical indigence, suicide, and involvement with the criminal or juvenile justice system. Access to early, comprehensive treatment for brain injury also alleviates the burden of long term care that is transferred to tax payers at the federal, state and local levels."

MHN efforts for the TBI cause include a past educational briefing -- "Emerging Research in Head Injuries: What's Happening to Our War and Sports Heroes?" This event featured a presentation on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease potentially linked to repeated brain trauma; it also included a panel discussion on the future of CTE and TBI research.

"Brain injuries take a tremendous toll on the lives of millions of Americans," said Brandon Leonard, director of strategic initiatives, Men's Health Network. "This is a year-long battle, but we want to take the opportunity presented by Brain Injury Awareness Month and Day to educate people about preventing brain injury, as well as the importance of getting early and appropriate treatment if a brain injury occurs. It is crucial to ensure that everyone has access to rehabilitative services and receives ongoing support to alleviate the impact of brain injury."

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