Documenting the Coming Singularity

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's not the soul that needs saving, it's the brain, stupid - Keeping Our Heads

NYT - March 29, 2009, by MICHAEL PAUL MASON

THE death of the actress Natasha Richardson after a fall on a ski slope has further publicized an ugly truth that millions of Americans already know: Hardly anyone outside of an emergency room knows how to respond to brain trauma. There isn’t a standard response system that has been adequately promulgated in high school or college athletics, boxing rings or ski resorts. We’re fascinated by the inner workings of the brain and marvel at its mysteries, yet we aren’t very serious about protecting our most prized organ.

According to a 2008 list put together by the American Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists, there isn’t a single certified brain injury specialist working on America’s ski slopes.

Brain injury prevention and research has been notoriously underfinanced for decades now. In 2007, the federal AIDS budget was $22.8 billion, and Parkinson’s disease received $250 million. In contrast, the Health and Human Services Department’s traumatic brain injury program, the most substantive public health program targeting this problem, was allotted only $8.5 million, and last year President George W. Bush even proposed eliminating it. (President Obama recently added around $1 million to the program.

Read more>>

Follow me on Twitter. Technological Singularity and Futurism is updated often; the easiest way to get your regular dose is by subscribing to our news feed. Stay on top of all our updates by subscribing now via RSS or Email.