Celebrate Brain Awareness Week on March 12-18, 2012

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On the eve of Brain Awareness Week, The Brain Aneurysm Foundation is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of a brain aneurysm.

The Brain Aneurysm Foundation

According to th Brain Aneurysm Foundation, it is estimated that more than 6 million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm. Most are small and an estimated 50 to 80 percent of all aneurysms do not rupture during the course of a person’s lifetime. However, in 2012, more than 30,000 people will be affected by a ruptured brain aneurysm. In these cases, recognizing the symptoms early can make a significant difference in the outcome for the patient.

On the eve of Brain Awareness Week, The Brain Aneurysm Foundation is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of a brain aneurysm. On The Brain Aneurysm Foundation’s web storefront, a special Awareness package will be available the week of March 12-18. For $5, plus shipping and handling, individuals will receive a brain aneurysm awareness package that includes a T-shirt, wristband and a copy of the video Early Detection of Brain Aneurysms: Life Vs. Death. After individuals watch the video, the foundation asks that it be shared with local first responders such as EMTs or fire stations. To receive the awareness package, visit http://www.bafound.org.

What is a Brain Aneurysm? A brain aneurysm is a weak bulging spot on the wall of a brain artery very much like a thin balloon or weak spot on an inner tube. Over time, the blood flow within the artery pounds against the thinned portion of the wall and aneurysms form silently from wear and tear on the arteries. As the artery wall becomes gradually thinner from the dilation, the blood flow causes the weakened wall to swell outward. This pressure may cause the aneurysm to rupture and allow blood to escape into the space around the brain. The ruptures, many of which occur without warning, can lead to brain damage, stroke, or death. However, if a brain aneurysm is diagnosed early with proper screening, it can be treated before it ruptures.

Who is at risk for a Brain Aneurysm? Brain aneurysms can affect people of any age. Risk Factors that doctors and researchers believe contribute to the formation of brain aneurysms include Smoking, Hypertension, Congenital resulting from inborn abnormality in artery wall, drug use (particularly cocaine), tumors, traumatic head injury, a family history of brain aneurysms, or other inherited disorders that might include Ehler’s Syndrome, Polycystic Kidney Disease, and Marfan’s Syndrome

What are the warning signs? Unruptured brain aneurysms are often asymptomatic. However, some aneurysms can push on the brain or nerves and cause symptoms such as pain above or behind the eye, blurred or double vision or weakness and difficulty speaking.

A ruptured brain aneurysms is caused by a subarachnoid hemorrhage, or bleeding into the space around the brain. Symptoms of ruptured brain aneurysms include sudden severe headache, loss of consciousness, nausea/vomiting, stiff neck, sudden blurred or double vision, sudden change in mental status or awareness, sudden trouble walking or dizziness and/or sudden weakness or numbness and sensitivity to light. In the event of these symptoms, immediate medical attention should be sought.

Brain Awareness Week, celebrated from March 12-18, 2012, is the global campaign to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. Each year, Brain Awareness Week unites partner organizations worldwide in celebration of the brain through events and outreach to people of all ages. The campaign combines the efforts of universities, hospitals, government agencies, schools, and professional associations in a week-long celebration of the brain. For more information, visit http://www.dana.org/brainweek/

About the Brain Aneurysm Foundation
The Brain Aneurysm Foundation was established in Boston, MA on August 19, 1994 as a public charity. The Brain Aneurysm Foundation is the nation’s only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to providing critical awareness, education, support and research funding to reduce the incidence of brain aneurysm ruptures. The organization also provides education materials and awareness information to health care professionals and the general population, as well as providing support for patients and their loved ones.

The Brain Aneurysm Foundation relies on fundraising support from individuals and organizations to continue to fund education and research to promote early detection of brain aneurysms, which ultimately saves lives. For more information, visit: http://www.bafound.org.

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ERIN CALLANAN
Callanan + Klein Communications
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