When a stroke occurs, blood supply to the brain is interrupted, and neurological damage follows rapidly. Some stroke victims may not be aware that they have had a stroke, wasting precious time. The more easily onlookers can spot warning signs, the better the victim’s chances of quick medical treatment and recovery. During National Stroke Awareness Month, the National Stroke Association will teach people how to act “FAST,” recognizing changes to the face, arms and speech during a stroke, to save time and even a life.
Many people believe that multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that damages the brain and spinal cord, is fatal. Canada’s Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month aims to clear up such misconceptions. MS is not a death sentence, but it can often be debilitating, causing loss of balance and slurred speech. In addition to publicizing the facts about MS, participants will raise money for research into the cause of the disease, which remains a mystery.
In 2008 U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy became one of the nearly 200,000 Americans each year who are diagnosed with a brain tumor. Brain Tumor Action Week helps to fund cutting-edge research, such as the effort to target and eliminate tumor stem cells—seed cells that can regenerate a tumor again and again. [For more on this research, see “New Hope for Battling Brain Cancer,” by Gregory Foltz; Scientific American Mind, March/April 2010.]
This article was originally published with the title Calendar.