ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Esteemed experts in the field of adult, child and sports-related brain injuries will speak at a brain injury awareness event held at the post theater March 28 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The interactive discussion will be led by professionals from the Brain Injury Association of Maryland and the Kennedy Krieger Institute, allowing for questions from the audience. The audience will also have the opportunity to participate in a sensory and perception simulation exercise, which will replicate someone living with a Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI. Models of the brain will also be displayed.

Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic is sponsoring the event in honor of March having been designated as Brain Injury Awareness Month. Every year 1.7 million people, including 475,000 children, in the United States sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury and 3.1 million individuals live with life-long disability as a result of TBI.

"Brain injury awareness is an issue that needs to be addressed in every community," said KUSAHC's Chief of Behavioral Health Care Services Wendy Witmer. "TBI can result from numerous causes including contact sports, falls, motor vehicle crashes, combat situations, etc."

KUSAHC's Staff Sgt. Joseph Hill, who is assisting with the event's organization, said that this event will help loved ones of TBI survivors better understand the symptoms.

"People generally associate brain injuries with active duty service members but in reality it affects the entire population," he said.

Hill added that symptoms can vary from person to person, and are usually not obvious to the outside observer. Physical symptoms include dizziness, sensitivity to light and occasional nausea. Cognitive symptoms might include difficulty with concentration, memory loss and clouded thinking.

"The effects of TBI can impact physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning, which may result in poor school or work performance, decreased productivity, and an inability to complete the mission," Witmer said. "It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of TBI and provide treatment as soon as possible in order to provide the greatest potential for recovery."

Hill said the event will be broadcast to at least fifteen military installations across the United States via video-conferencing.

Beverages and food from UFood Grill will be provided for attendees. For more information e-mail Hill at joseph.c.hill2@us.army.mil, or call 817-403-9706.

Page last updated Thu March 21st, 2013 at 00:00