March 12 Is Brain Injury Awareness Day
Today is Brain Injury Awareness Day. A brain injury can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone. Brain injuries do not discriminate. For this reason MHN joins BIAA to recognize this awareness period.
March 12, 2014 (Newswire.com) - Today is Brain Injury Awareness Day (http://www.biausa.org/biaa-advocacy.htm). A brain injury can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone. Brain injuries do not discriminate. For this reason Men's Health Network (MHN) (http://menshealthnetwork.org/) joins a nationwide network of state brain injury organizations affiliated with the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) (http://www.biausa.org/brain-injury-awareness-month.htm), 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, Ph.D., M.S., 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."
Traumatic brain injury (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%).
According to the BIAA website (http://www.biausa.org/brain-injury-awareness-month.htm), 2.4 million people, including 475,000 children, sustain a TBI in the United States each year and 5.3 million individuals live with life-long disability as a result of TBI. In addition, 52,000 people will die of TBI and 275,000 people will be hospitalized each year. TBI is a contributing factor to a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the U.S.
"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 Dr. 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."
Men's Health Network (MHN) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at www.menshealthnetwork.org and follow us on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and facebook.com/menshealthnetwork