Your Brain And You

Brain injury. What does that call to mind? A devastating injury that leaves you paralyzed and speechless? How about blindness or a loss of the sense of smell? How about loss of the ability to recognize your loved ones or the inability to remember what happened an hour ago?

 

How about all of the above or none of the above?

 

That’s what a brain injury is – all, some, or none of the above. And, with between 10 and 20% of the approximately 1.8 million men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan sustaining brain injuries, that means between 180,000 and 360,000 young people may return to this country with injuries severe enough to prevent them from supporting themselves or, possibly, even caring for their basic needs.

 

To the above numbers you can add the civilians who sustain brain injuries as the result of accidents, sports, neurological disease, birth trauma or prematurity. Some of these individuals will need assistance – from family, from healthcare and from government. And they will need this assistance for years to come.

 

Brain injury can run the gamut from mild concussions that have only transitory effects (unless too many are sustained) to penetrating wounds that result in the actual result of brain tissue. Since the brain controls all physical and mental functions, it’s evident that
brain “injury” can have a variable presentation – the all or none above. Furthermore, the location of the injury is just as significant as the extent of the injury.

 

Brain injury, whether traumatic or disease related, is a growing problem. The military is aware of it LINK. Now the general public –  parents, coaches, adult children of elderly parents and schools – have to become aware of it.

 

Even if you are not your brain, your brain is your link to the world. Protect it.

 

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month.

 

For more information on brain injury click:

 

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Brain Injury Association of America 

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Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN

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