Brain Awareness Week (BAW), 14-20 March 2016, is a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. It is promoted by The Dana Foundation, a private, philanthropic organisation with the stated mission to advance brain research and educate the public about its potential.
The brain is the organ which is at the centre of the nervous system and exerts control, in a centralised fashion, over the other organs of the body. It is composed of different components and the impact of any damage to the brain will depend on where the damage is sustained and the extent of the damage.
Damage to the brain may cause significant mobility problems because of effects on the control of muscles and coordination, or may cause cognitive and executive functioning problems that affect memory, the ability to learn and behaviour.
As well as congenital malformations of the brain, disease and trauma may cause damage and lead to life-long difficulties.
Research into the workings of the brain and the ways in which damage may be minimised, or areas of the brain restored, will hopefully improve the lives of many. Recent advances arising from research include the use of brain cooling for babies who are thought to have sustained hypoxic brain insults during delivery. This treatment appears to be extremely beneficial in limiting the effects of hypoxia on the neonatal brain.
It is hoped that further research will yield beneficial treatments for those who have suffered brain damage. In the meantime, it is vital that those with such damage receive the care and support they require to maximise their potential.
Alison Appelboam Meadows, a partner in the personal injury, clinical negligence and travel team at Penningtons Manches, comments: “We regularly act for individuals who have suffered significant brain injuries as a result of trauma. We ensure that their needs are fully explored and that appropriate rehabilitation, care and therapy are put in place as soon as possible to assist them. Our investigations include consideration of any appropriate medical advances and treatments identified as a result of brain research and we endorse the importance of such research.”