Brain Injury Awareness Month

June is Brain Injury Awareness month, which aims to increase awareness about the prevalence of brain injury. Brain injuries can affect individuals in many complex and unique ways – from emotional to physical changes, this type of injury can have profound effects on a person’s life.

At CHRIM, members of the ENRRICH research theme are working on important research surrounding neurodevelopment and rehabilitation in child health. Just last year, CHRIM Principal Investigator Dr. Kelly Russell, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Manitoba, and two residents, Drs. Karen Ballinger and Duncan McGuinty, had their work on concussions published by Cambridge University Press.

The study compared clinical outcomes among those with sport-related concussions and non-sport-related concussions to help identify risk factors for delayed recovery. The objective was to examine the clinical characteristics, length of recovery, and the prevalence of delayed physician-documented recovery.

Their research found that most pediatric concussion patients who received early medical assessment and complete follow-up appeared to have made a complete clinical recovery within 4 weeks, regardless of mechanism. 

Dr. Russell, University of Manitoba Research Scientist at CHRIM, says we may be familiar with some symptoms of concussions, but others are harder to detect.

“Headache, dizziness, confusion, and balance problems are commonly known symptoms of a concussion but lesser-known symptoms of concussion include sadness, irritability, and anxiety. Symptoms can first occur up to 24 hours after the injury or head impact.”

You can read more about the study here: Clinical Outcomes of Pediatric Acute Sport- and Non-SportRelated Concussions.

This year’s Brain Injury Awareness Month campaign aims to shine a light on what is often referred to as an invisible disability. You can join in the campaign by following along on social media using the hashtags #BrainInjuryAwarenessMonth, #BrainInjuryAcrossCanada, and #SpotlightonBrainInjury. For more resources on brain injuries, you can also visit the Brain Injury Canada website.