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Abstract Details

Exploring Brain Health with High School Students: A SIGN Event
Education, Research, and Methodology
P10 - Poster Session 10 (11:45 AM-12:45 PM)

Improving brain health is a nationwide focus by the American Academy of Neurology. However, information is lacking regarding adolescents’ knowledge of brain health and fundamental neurology concepts.

We sought to evaluate adolescents’ confidence in and understanding of neurology and brain health by designing a day program to address common neurology misconceptions.

Participants aged 14 to 18 years old with an average age of 16.6 years (n=78) answered a pre-survey with eleven true/false questions modified from existing literature on layperson neurology knowledge. Participants ranked three additional statements from strongly agree to strongly disagree regarding their confidence in understanding brain health. Participants then rotated between three activities titled “Brain Anatomy with Clinical Correlations,” “Suture Demonstration and Epilepsy Awareness,” and “Brain Health: Memory, Reflexes, and Disorders” before retaking the same survey.

Participants’ overall true/false scores increased significantly from 52.4% to 79.9% correct (p<.001). Every survey question performed better after the program, and 9 of 14 questions showed a statistically significant (??=.05) improvement. Notably, the statements “We only use 10% of our brain” and “When someone has a seizure, you should put something in their mouth to stop them from biting their tongue” both increased from 33.8% to 98.7% correct (both p<.001). The percentage of participants who agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I know how to keep my brain healthy” increased from 38.5% to 96.0% (p<.001), and the statement “I understand what ‘brain health’ is” increased from 51.6% to 94.7% (p<.001).
Adolescents are largely unfamiliar with the concept of “Brain Health” and lack confidence in their ability to keep their brain healthy. By introducing adolescents to concepts of brain health and the importance of health promotion behaviors, we were able to increase their knowledge of neurology concepts and their confidence in promoting their own brain health.
Abigail E. Connor
Ms. Connor has nothing to disclose.
Alvand Moini Mr. Moini has nothing to disclose.
Deborah L. Carver, MD (UT Health San Antonio) Dr. Carver has received personal compensation in the range of $5,000-$9,999 for serving on a Speakers Bureau for Allergan.
Paola Martinez, MD Dr. Martinez has nothing to disclose.