“Stop the Pop” Highlights the Warning Signs of Aneurysms and the Need for Improved Diagnosis to Prevent Ruptures that can Lead to Neurological Damage, Stroke, or Death
Peloton Instructor and Recognized Fitness Leader Adrian Williams Joins as Campaign Ambassador; Activities Planned Nationally in September for Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month
Hanover, Mass., September 6, 2023 – The Brain Aneurysm Foundation (BAF), the leading advocacy organization supporting education, research, and policy to transform the treatment of brain aneurysms, today announced the launch of “Stop the Pop,” a new campaign to increase awareness of the prevalence and impact of the disease and the need for ongoing investment to fund new innovations, screening, and treatment.
It is estimated that one in fifty people in the US have a brain aneurysm, with more than 30,000 people suffering from ruptures annually, of which half are fatal. Moreover, studies show that between one and four percent of all people who go to the emergency room for a severe headache, in fact, have a ruptured aneurysm, though approximately 25 percent of those will be misdiagnosed or have a delayed diagnosis. The campaign aims to build awareness of symptoms, genetic and environmental risk factors, and to increase research funding to better understand the underlying causes of the condition and to advance new treatments.
“A feeling that something has ‘popped’ is what we hear most from patients who have experienced a rupture. Many write it off as an intense headache, but it also comes with an array of other symptoms from blurred vision, nausea, or even seizure, and it is critical people recognize the seriousness of what they may be experiencing and immediately seek treatment,” said Dr. Christopher Ogilvy, M.D., Director of Endovascular and Operative Neurovascular Surgery at the Brain Aneurysm Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Ogilvy, who leads the BAF Medical Advisory Board, continued: “Our focus is to help individuals at risk, and the first responders and physicians who treat them, to better recognize aneurysms and initiate earlier interventions in order to reduce the number of people afflicted by this often-treatable condition.”
A brain aneurysm is a weak, bulging area in an artery in the brain that in some instances can rupture. Blood then spills into the space between the skull and the brain, which is a serious type of stroke known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage. While brain aneurysms are most prevalent in people ages 35 to 60, they can also occur in children. Women over the age of 55 have a higher risk of brain aneurysm rupture than men and are generally at greater risk. Ruptured aneurysms are also seen at higher rates in African American populations.
Other known risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, family history, and diseases including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, Marfan syndrome, and fibromuscular dysplasia.
The majority of funds raised by the BAF are used to provide grants to academic researchers studying the underlying biology of aneurysms or developing new treatment methods. Federal dollars for brain aneurysm research amounts to just over $2 for every person afflicted and advocating for increased funding is a cornerstone of the BAF’s mission. Today, as a result of BAF’s own fundraising initiatives, there are dozens of ongoing research efforts at academic institutions nationally, and later this month the organization will announce 17 new grants at its Annual Research Grant Symposium to be held in Charleston, South Carolina.
“The ‘Stop-the-Pop’ campaign furthers our mission of promoting early detection of brain aneurysms by raising awareness of the signs, symptoms, and risk factors,” said BAF executive director Christine Buckley. “We are excited by the continued advances in the field but know that far more needs to be done. We are pleased with the support of so many survivors, the families of those who have lost loved ones and those in the medical community who work tirelessly to reverse these preventable tragedies.”
The “Stop the Pop’ campaign includes social media, online and physical advertising, as well as upcoming events in cities across the US including Boston, New York, Chicago and St. Louis.
“My grandmother was a major force in my life and knowing that her death from an aneurysm may have been prevented has led me to partner with the BAF to raise critical awareness of this silent killer and help others avoid the pain my family has endured,” said Adrian Williams, a leading advocate for sustainable wellness, a popular instructor for Peloton, and an ambassador for the ongoing BAF campaign. “My grandmother always told me ‘Never give up as great things take time,’ and I will use my platform to honor her memory as we work to reduce the number of brain aneurysms and save lives.”
If you would like to help Adrian raise funds for the BAF in memory of his grandmother, please visit his ambassador page here.
ABOUT THE BRAIN ANEURYSM FOUNDATION
Founded in Boston and now based in Hanover, Massachusetts, the Brain Aneurysm Foundation is the globally recognized leader in brain aneurysm awareness, education, support, advocacy, and research funding.
The foundation’s mission is to provide information about and raise awareness of the symptoms and risk factors of brain aneurysms to prevent ruptures and subsequent death and disability; work with medical communities to provide support networks for patients and families; and advance research to improve patients’ outcomes and save lives.
Established in 1994, the foundation is led by Executive Director Christine Buckley and has a Medical Advisory Board that comprises more than 30 of the nation’s foremost aneurysm experts — neurologists, neurosurgeons, interventional neuroradiologists and other brain aneurysm specialists — from the country’s leading hospitals and universities.