July 12, 2011: Markey Introduces Brain Aneurysm Awareness Legislation

Bill to commemorate September 2011 as National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Malden), dean of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, introduced a resolution designating the month of September as “National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month” in order to raise awareness about the danger of brain aneurysms, educate the public about prevention, and highlight the need for further research regarding this serious illness. Rep. Markey was urged to file the legislation by State Representative Paul J. Donato (D–Medford) who serves as a Division Leader in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and is on the board of the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.

Brain aneurysms are a silent killer, striking victims of every age and without warning,” said Rep. Markey. “Today, one in fifty people in Massachusetts with a brain aneurysm that has not yet ruptured. Each of us could know someone who could be the next victim of this cruel disease. This resolution sends a message to Americans who have been impacted by brain aneurysms that they are not alone in this fight, and we must educate people about the disease and support research for prevention and treatment.

More than 1,000 people in Massachusetts – and 30,000 across the country – are treated for brain aneurysms each year, which occur when an artery wall in the brain starts to thin, causing swelling. The resulting increase in pressure can cause a rupture that allows blood to escape the space around the brain. The ruptures, many of which occur without warning, can lead to brain damage, stroke, or death. More than 40 percent of ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal, and those who survive still have a 66 percent chance of permanent neurological damage.

According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, awareness of the disease and early diagnosis is critical. Despite the availability of imaging technology, misdiagnoses or delays occur in up to one-quarter of patients with a brain aneurysm who seek medical treatment.

“Recognizing September as National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month is of the utmost importance for patients with the disease,” said Christine Buckley, Executive Director of the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. “Congressman Markey’s leadership on this issue provides victims of this disease – and their supporters – the chance to have their voices heard and to express the need for greater brain aneurysm education, awareness, and research funding. Today, 1 in 50 people in the U.S. have an unruptured brain aneurysm and close to 50 percent of those who rupture will die. It is necessary to have a special time to make the general public aware of these risks, as well as remind the medical community of the devastation that brain aneurysms can bring to the individual and their family.”