Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a global campaign to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. Brain Awareness Week is from the 14th-20th March 2016 and also aims to increase community awareness of the potential for improving the long-term health of the brain through lifestyle changes and risk-reduction strategies. The Dana Alliance, based in New York, founded BAW 20 years ago, and continues to administer the campaign alongside the American Society for Neuroscience.
For one week every March, Brain Awareness Week unites the global efforts of over 2,200 universities, hospitals, patient groups, government agencies, schools, service organisations and professional organisations in 76 countries in a week-long celebration of the brain. During Brain Awareness Week, campaign partners organise creative and innovative activities in their communities to educate and excite people of all ages about the brain and brain research. Events are limited only by the organisers’ imaginations!
Here are some interesting facts about concussion and recovery in sport…
Rest is the answer to Concussion recovery!
Rest and relaxation remains the best response to a concussion or traumatic brain injury, according to the findings of a recent study from Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). The study, published in the March 2016 issue of American Journal of Pathology, shows that more than 24 hours of rest is “critical” to allowing the brain to properly recover and repair neural networks. Failing to take a break and rest could lead to potential brain damage and inflammation that can last for over a year after the initial injury.
Rest has long been the main recommendation for those who have recently experienced a concussion or TBI. Stimulating the brain through mental or physical activity has been shown to worsen symptoms such as headache, nausea, and fatigue, while rest gives the brain time to properly heal.
However, this practice has come under fire recently with critics calling it “counterproductive.” Specialists argue rest and limitations can contribute to depression and anxiety, which are already common in people with head injuries. This culminated in a group of specialists announcing at a conference that prolonged rest may not be the best treatment.
Whether rest is truly the best treatment will still be debated as more studies are done, but for now it remains the gold standard in brain injury recovery and rehabilitation.