From helmets to habits: take measures to protect your brain from injuries

March 19, 2024
Tiffany Robb, Division of Public Health

A head injury that causes damage to the brain is known as a traumatic brain injury. Repeated or severe traumatic brain injuries may increase the risk of dementia.

March marks Brain Injury Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Program at the Department of Health and Welfare is focusing on how keeping our brains safe can also lower the risk of dementia.

Every nine seconds, someone in the United Sates sustains a brain injury, which may include a trauma, concussion, or non-traumatic injury from factors such as lack of oxygen, exposure to toxins, or pressure from a tumor.

Although studies cannot tell whether head injuries were the direct cause of dementia, research indicates a strong correlation, and there are everyday actions we can all take to protect our brains. Wearing helmets during high-hazard activities, playing it safe in sports, and avoiding activities that can hurt our heads can all make a difference.

A healthy lifestyle can also help steer away from dementia. Staying active, eating well, managing stress, and keeping your mind engaged can all play a part in keeping your brain healthy and sharp.

And practicing kind and open communication can go a long way. Remember to look out for each other and encourage discussion about brain health openly, without shame.

The bottom line is that Brain Injury Awareness Month is an opportunity to remind ourselves and our loved ones about the simple steps we can take to keep our brains in good shape.

By doing so, we're not just avoiding injuries; we're also fighting against the chances of dementia later on. Together, we can make a difference to keep our minds healthy and resilient.

Tiffany Robb is health program manager for the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Program in the Division of Public Health at DHW. A self-described compassionate extrovert, she’s had a diverse career that’s included personal training, business ownership and management, teaching, research, and project management. Tiffany finds working on brain health, Alzheimer’s, and dementia an honor and a tribute to family members who have been impacted by dementia.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening Idahoans' health, safety, and independence. Learn more at

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