Brain Aneurysm Awareness Week is Here!

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During Brain Awareness Week, remember the warning signs of a Brain Aneurysm.
In 2011, more than 27,000 people in the United States will be affected by a ruptured brain aneurysm. More than 40% of these aneurysms will prove to be fatal. On the first day of Brain Awareness Week, The Joe Niekro Foundation would like to share information about the warning signs of a brain aneurysm.
Brain Awareness Week, celebrated from March 14-20, 2011, is a nationwide campaign to increase public awareness about the advancements and importance of brain research. Each year,  Brain Awareness Week campaign combines efforts from universities, hospitals, research centers, and professional organizations in a week-long awareness campaign of the brain.

The Joe Niekro Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing critical awareness, education, support and research funding to reduce the incidence of brain aneurysm ruptures. The mission of the organization is to educate people about the dangers of brain aneurysms and save lives by funding vital research and increasing awareness.

Brain aneurysms can affect as many as 1 in 15 people and it is estimated that 6 million people currently have a brain aneurysm and are not aware of it. Despite the technology available, most of the public is not aware of what can be done to detect these silent killers, therefore risking their lives with no knowledge of their condition.  The Joe Niekro Foundation’s national awareness initiative, Wanna Get Lucky?, is designed to help combat this issue.

Warning Signs & Symptoms:
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.

Aneurysms may burst and bleed into the brain, causing serious complications including hemorrhagic stroke, permanent nerve damage or death. Once it has burst, the aneurysm may burst again and rebleed into the brain, and additional aneurysms may also occur. More commonly, rupture may cause a subarachnoid hemorrhage – bleeding into the space between the skull bone and the brain. Symptoms of ruptured brain aneurysms often come on suddenly and may 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.

Risk Factors
There are a number of risk factors that are believed to contribute to the formation of brain aneurysms. These risk factors include smoking, hypertension, drug use, infection, tumors, traumatic head injury and a family history of aneurysms.  Some of these factors can be controlled and others can not.

A number of events are planned all over the globe in celebration of Brain Awareness Week. For more information on local events and informational materials on awareness efforts by The Joe Niekro Foundation, please visit

About The Joe Niekro Foundation

The Joe Niekro Foundation was established in 2007 in honor of the founder’s father, Joe Niekro, who lost his life from a sudden cerebral brain aneurysm on October 27, 2006. The astonishing lack of public awareness and under-support of research of such a widespread and often fatal condition led to the launch of a crusade to educate and encourage awareness about aneurysms.

The Joe Niekro Foundation is committed to aiding in the research and treatment of aneurysm patients and families. Our goal is to raise awareness about aneurysm factors, causes, treatments and research.  All funds are used to educate the public about brain aneurysms, to support patients and families, and to develop awareness programs and educational materials for hospitals, clinics, and other institutions worldwide.

Please share this information with those you know – it could just save a life.

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