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Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and the campaign theme is #Change Your Mind. The campaign is helping to raise awareness and de-stigmatizing brain injury through outreach within the brain community, promoting the different types of available support for people living with a brain injury, and empowering the survivors of brain injury and their caregivers.

Every 9 seconds someone sustains a brain injury in the United States, which makes up more than 3.5 million children and adults. An acquired brain injury (ABI) is not induced by birth trauma, congenital, hereditary, or is not degenerative and is most often associated with pressure on the brain. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by an external force which damages the skull or causes the brain to move inside the skull.

The typical causes of acquired brain injury are: poisoning or exposure to toxic substances, infection, strangulation, choking, drowning, tumors, heart attacks, strokes, abuse of illegal drugs, neurological illnesses, and aneurysms.

The typical causes of traumatic brain injury are: car accidents, blows to the head, sports injuries, accidents or falls, and physical violence.

Some physical symptoms of brain damage could include persistent headaches, tremors, extreme mental and physical fatigue, sensitivity to light, paralysis, slurred speech, sleep disorders, and loss of consciousness.

Some emotional and behavioral symptoms could include reduced tolerance for stress, sluggishness, denial of disability, increased aggressiveness, flattened or heightened emotions or reactions, and irritability and impatience.

Some ways to possibly reduce the risk of brain damage is: never shake a child, install window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows, wear helmets while cycling or during sports, install shock-absorbing material on playgrounds, if you have a gun keep it unloaded and locked away, wear seatbelts in cars, drive safely, install and use handrails on stairways, don’t use illegal drugs, drink alcohol in moderation but never drink alone and avoid falls by using a stepstool when reaching for high items.