Gearing Up for Brain Awareness Week

Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is less than two months away (March 12–18) and here at the Dana Foundation we are excited. Hospitals, universities, schools, senior centers, and other organizations across the world are already buzzing about the brain. Events are being planned in preparation for the big week. Remember, the Dana Foundation and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI) are here to help. If you register your organization with DABI and become a BAW partner at www.dana.org/brainweek/, you’ll get access to free BAW materials. Each year hundreds of BAW partners from Texas to Morocco register events with DABI and receive fun and valuable materials and resources for free.

This year the BAW publications and resources are stacked with past favorites like the brain-shaped erasers and pencils, Mindboggling series of booklets, and Dana Alliance Puzzles. The 2012 BAW order form also has some new items. If you are looking for some fun handouts for your event, the Brain Awareness Week buttons and stickers are a great option, as they display the fresh, new design. My laptop is already covered in BAW stickers.  

There are also a number of new additions from the Dana Alliances publications and resources section. The updated Brain Connections pamphlet lists more than 240 organizations in the United States that offer help and guidance in connection with brain-related disorders. The PDF is available online, but a pamphlet-sized physical copy is also available for distribution at BAW events.

We’re introducing three new Staying Sharp booklets in addition to the well-known Successful Aging and Your Brain. First, Late-Life Brain Disorders discusses a few of the most common disorders that affect seniors, including dementia, depression, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic pain. Learning as We Age describes what recent neuroscience research has uncovered about lifelong learning. The booklet illustrates how continual, active engaging of the brain throughout life can be beneficial to the health of the aging brain. Memory and Aging explains the difference between what’s normal and what’s not in regards to memory loss and aging. The booklet describes the differences between typical age-related changes in memory and the signs of dementia, and gives information on how to maintain brain health.

Brain Awareness Week is right around the corner and now is the time to start planning an event and making use of the free supplies that the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives has to offer. Remember, you must be a BAW partner to take advantage of these great resources, so register today at www.dana.org/brainweek/. And for the social-media fans, follow the action on Twitter (hashtag #brainweek) and on the BAW Facebook page.

–Simon Fischweicher

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