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Your Brain in March: Brain Injury Awareness and More

March 2015, Brain Injury Awareness MonthAre you aware? March is a big month for brain awareness campaigns.

For starters, March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. The motto of the campaign this year is “Not Alone.”  The “Not Alone” theme is meant to educate the general public about brain injuries, while also connecting individual brain injury survivors with support networks.

Truly, brain injury survivors are not alone. Though a brain injury is often an invisible problem, it is surprisingly common. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 2.5 million Traumatic Brain Injuries and 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur in Americans each year. (For information about sports-related concussions in children, read Dr. Richard Anderson’s take on Misconceptions about Kids and Concussions and our previous blog post, Dr. Wm Christopher Fox Discusses Concussions & Contemporary Neurosurgery At The Valley Hospital)

The group that leads this awareness campaign is the Brain Injury Association (BIA) of America. But the BIA is “Not Alone” in working on the awareness month. The CDC has been promoting it as part of their Heads Up concussion training program. And the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force has declared March 18 Brain Injury Awareness Day.

And there’s even more to be aware of this month. March 16-20 is Brain Awareness Week. This week focuses on brain research. Its goal is to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of research on the brain. Activities include presentations, “Cinema and the Brain,” art shows, and a “brain bee.” (Like a spelling bee—but with brain facts.)

Columbia neurosurgeon and researcher Dr. Guy McKhann serves on the executive committee of the group that coordinates the brain research week. This group, called the Dana Alliance, provides clear, accurate information about the brain and brain research to anyone who wants it. It has special resources and handouts especially for kids, seniors, researchers, patients, and caregivers. Dr. McKhann’s interesting articles can often be found in the group’s newspaper, Brain in the News. The newspaper is mailed, free of charge, to anyone who signs up to receive it.

Good luck this March, educating your brain…about the brain!

Learn more about Dr. Richard Anderson on his bio page here.

Learn more about Dr. Guy McKhann on his bio page here.

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