First-Of-Its-Kind Public Awareness Campaign Provides Critical Brain Aneurysm Information


The Lisa Colagrossi Foundation (TLCF), the leader in the fight against brain aneurysms and in saving lives around the world, today launched “Lights On, Lights Off”, the first-ever national consumer public awareness campaign to educate Americans on the risk factors associated with brain aneurysms. The campaign was developed in response to a survey sponsored by TLCF indicating that brain aneurysms may be up to 50 percent more common in women and nearly 100 percent of women surveyed didn’t know the warning signs. This year approximately 40,000 people are expected to experience a ruptured brain aneurysm with 50 percent never making it to the hospital and with several thousand more dying as a result of complications in the months following the rupture.

“Not knowing the classic warning signs of a brain aneurysm rupture cost my wife, beloved TV journalist and mother of our two sons, Lisa, her life along with many others,” says Todd Crawford, Founder of TLCF. “In honor of Women’s Health Month, the launch of this public service announcement in homes across the country will equip the public with critical information needed to make an informed decision and to be prepared in the event of a brain aneurysm.”

“Lights On, Lights Off” showcases the innovative use of a brain mnemonic to help people remember key facts about brain aneurysms, along with top symptoms of a brain aneurysm and emphasizes the need to seek immediate medical treatment. These symptoms, creatively depicted via animation, are the sudden onset of the worst headache of life (WHOL), a sharp pain behind or above one eye and blurry or double vision. A public service announcement for brain aneurysms has never been done before and will provide information to the 15 million Americans at risk.

“This campaign is critically important, as there has been scant information about this deadly disorder and how it disproportionately affects women,” says Dr. Howard Riina, Professor, Vice Chair of Neurosurgery NYU Langone and head of the medical board for TLCF. “Brain aneurysms occur suddenly and women are not informed enough to recognize all the signs,” he added. “They just aren’t getting to the emergency room soon enough.”

Women can be at risk for a rupture when they go through peri-menopause or menopause, but there are other factors. Lower estrogen levels can cause the blood vessels in a woman’s brain to become more vulnerable. TLCF’s campaign is designed to address the disturbing gap in knowledge about brain aneurysms and to share the signs of a life-threatening rupture.

About Brain Aneurysms

A brain aneurysm is a weakness or thinning of the wall of a blood vessel in the brain that gradually bulges outward. Eventually, the bulging blood vessel may leak or rupture causing bleeding into the brain. A ruptured aneurysm quickly becomes life threatening and requires prompt emergency treatment. The most common sudden onset symptoms of a brain aneurysm are: worst headache of your life (WHOL), stiffness in the neck, sensitivity to light, sharp pain behind or above the eye, blurred or double vision, drooping eyelid, seizures, loss of consciousness, numbness or tingling in the face, nausea and vomiting, confusion or changed mental state and perceived gun shot noise or a loud BOOM. Some of the risk factors for a brain aneurysm are: smoking, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, heavy alcohol or drug abuse, head injury and lower estrogen after menopause, family history of brain aneurysm, polycystic kidney disease, among others.

About the Survey

The Lisa Colagrossi Foundation is the first to field a national omnibus survey about brain aneurysm awareness. The survey was conducted by using the online omnibus field service of ORC International. The 10-minute survey was fielded from August 15 to 17, 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,106 U.S. men and women ages 18+, balanced to census.

The survey found that there are significant knowledge gaps in brain aneurysm warning signs within at-risk populations. 100 percent of those surveyed could not correctly identify the populations at highest risk of a brain aneurysm: women and African-Americans. Additionally, 1 out of 3 people incorrectly believe a brain aneurysm always leads to death, when in fact 60 percent of people who get a brain aneurysm survive.

About the Lisa Colagrossi Foundation

The Lisa Colagrossi Foundation (TLCF) is the leader in raising awareness and education to help diagnose and treat brain aneurysms. TLCF’s primary focus is to communicate the signs, symptoms and risk factors of brain aneurysms through innovation and collaboration with best in class partners in the U.S. and internationally. In the process, we are shedding light on brain aneurysms to people around the world and have been credited with saving lives. TLCF, a 501(c)(3), also endeavors to be a private funder of brain aneurysm initiatives that directly or indirectly support research and survivor support in the U.S. For more information, please visit