March is a very important month of the year.  This month has the traditional and festive days of St. Patrick’s Day and Pi Day.  After a cold snowy winter, March brings us our much-anticipated gift of spring.  Furthermore, the month of March is the time to appreciate all of the women throughout history whose contributions have influenced and changed our nation to help be what it is today.  As you can see, there is a lot to celebrate, appreciate, and raise awareness for, but it doesn’t just stop there.  That’s right…our team here at MedRhythms would like to remind everyone that the month of March is also Brain Injury Awareness Month.

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) recognizes National Brain Injury Awareness Month every March to raise awareness for brain injuries.  The BIAA is the largest nationwide advocacy organization for brain injuries.  The mission of the BIAA is to “…advance brain injury prevention, research, treatment, and education and to improve the quality of life for all individuals impacted by brain injury.”

In order to bring forth advocacy, there must be awareness:

  • Each year, more than 3.5 million children and adults sustain an acquired brain injury (ABI) caused by electric shock, infectious disease, lightning strike, oxygen deprivation, seizure disorders, stroke, substance abuse, tumor, or by an external traumatic injury.
  • More than 12 million Americans live with the impact of an ABI.
  • Stroke affects 795,000 people each year in the United States alone.
  • Every 13 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • At least 2.5 million children and adults sustain a TBI each year.
  • At least 5.3 million Americans live with TBI-related disabilities.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults from ages 1 to 44.

Neurologic Music therapy (NMT) is a scientific music therapy model that is based on the research in neuroscience about how the brain is globally affected by music.  The standardized NMT interventions were created from this research of neuroimaging.  NMT interventions help retrain the brain’s injured pathways to rehabilitate non-musical functions for speech, cognition, and movement.  NMT teaches the brain a new way to engage its injured systems by using music interventions.

The month of March is meant to raise awareness and to advocate for this population.  The team at MedRhythms, a referral source through the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, aims to continue spreading the knowledge about NMT and its beneficial impact on neurorehabilitation for brain injuries, so that everyone and anyone can have access to this care.  Come join us at the 34th Annual Brain Injury Conference on March 26th where we will be presenting.  We hope to see you there!

By:  Steph Mathioudakis, MedRhythms Blogger