HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and Valley Baptist Medical Center is set to open its expanded Neuroscience Institute to better treat patients.  

“It’s going to offer the latest and most cutting-edge technology for our patients, especially for brain traumas and strokes,” said Director, Dr. Ameer Hassan.  

Valley Baptist sees more than 1,000 stroke patients every year according to Dr. Hassan. But there are other causes of how strokes can happen to some people.  

“Most brain injury is secondary to trauma. You have 2.8 million a year that have blunt trauma, motor vehicle accidents, and typically have some sort of swelling of the brain,” said Dr. Hassan.  

As part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, Valley Baptist is urging people to be aware of themselves after experiencing head trauma, especially senior citizens.  

“Like the stroke signs, if you are having slurred speech, we call it Aphasia. Arm or leg weakness, numbness and especially a severe headache or the worst headache of your life,” Dr, Hassan said. “These are the signs you should head to the emergency room.”  

Leaving a traumatic brain injury untreated can lead to permanent brain damage and even death.    

As Valley Baptist prepares to open its expanded Neuroscience Institute, the goal is to provide more care for brain injury patients locally.  

“The idea is to help an underserved area reach its potential and now there is no question in my mind Valley Baptist Neuroscience Institute is one of the best in Texas,” Dr. Hassan said “So being able to offer the advanced neuro care our patients need without them having to leave.”