World Brain Day - Friday 22 July: Brain Health for All
Supported by the Neurological Council of WA, World Brain Day is an annual campaign from the World Federation of Neurology that is marked on 22 July. This year’s all-encompassing theme is “Brain Health for All” and aims to spark a universal effort of sharing crucial information around optimizing brain health and reducing the burden of brain disorders, for everyone.
It is reported that one-in-three people have a brain disorder, the leading cause of disability adjusted life years and the second leading cause of death globally. The economic burden associated with neurological diseases and disorders is reported to have topped $74 billion in Australia alone.
The brain is the most complex and valuable organ in the human body, consisting of neurons and connections known as synapses that enable you to read, write, learn, plan, think, feel, move and solve problems on a daily basis. Brain health refers to how well a person’s brain functions across several areas including: Cognitive Health (i.e. thinking, learning, and remembering); Motor Function (ie movements and balance); Emotions (and responses to them); and Tactile Function (responding to sensations i.e. touch, temperature and pain). Brain health can be affected by age-related changes in the brain, injuries such as stroke or traumatic brain injury, mood disorders such as depression, substance use disorder or addiction, and diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
This World Brain Day, Neurological Council CEO, Etta Palumbo, and her team are joining the global movement to raise awareness about the importance of brain health in reducing the burden of brain disorders on individuals and society.
“World Brain Day is a fantastic initiative and provides an opportunity for us all, young and old, to consider ways we can be brain healthy”, she said.
“As the most important organ in your body, your brain’s health should be top of mind, just like your heart health or your fitness, so take the time to ask yourself - What sort of activities or lifestyle changes can I introduce to protect my brain, now and into the future?”
Good brain health is a state in which a person can realise their own abilities and optimize their cognitive, emotional, psychological and behavioural functioning to cope with life situations.
“The time to start thinking about your brain health is now”, said Ms Palumbo.
“Brain health is something that should be considered throughout the life course; in utero, through to childhood, adulthood and into older age”, said Ms Palumbo.
“It’s never too late to invest time into looking after your brain. There are things you can do that can make a big difference, such as physical exercise, cutting bad habits like cigarettes and alcohol, eating a balanced diet, staying socially active and continuing to learn new things.”
“Many brain disorders are preventable through education, awareness and by adopting healthy brain habits. While some factors affecting brain health cannot be changed, these small lifestyle adjustments can give your brain a boost and prevent cognitive decline so you can get the very best out of your brain as you age”, she said.
The World Federation of Neurology
World Brain Day is hosted by the World Federation of Neurology, an organisation that fosters quality neurology and brain health worldwide by promoting neurological education and training, emphasizing under-resourced areas of the world.
The primary pillars of the World Brain Day are awareness, prevention, advocacy, education and access.
- Awareness: Brain health is vital for mental, social and physical well-being.
- Prevention: Many brain diseases are preventable.
- Advocacy: Global efforts are required for optimal brain health.
- Education: Education is key to brain health for all.
- Access: Equitable access to resources, treatment and rehabilitation is essential for brain health.
World Brain Day Co-chair Prof. Tissa Wijeratne explains "Better brain health starts with an increased awareness of what it means to maintain a healthy brain and a global understanding of the brain's important role for humanity. Calling attention to this complex organ will emphasize the importance of the brain and its essential role in controlling every aspect of collective human life. Together, we can achieve Brain Health for All”.
Join the global awareness campaign
The Neurological Council invites you to join them in driving awareness of neurological disorders and the importance of incorporating healthy brain habits in our everyday lives.
You can do this by sharing your own stories, images and videos on social media about your experience (whether personal or that of a loved one) with a neurological condition or symptom, or general brain health. Be sure to use the hashtags #WorldBrainDay, #WBD2022 and #BrainHealthforAll.
“Sharing your story across social media is an effective and easy way to raise awareness this World Brain Day. It is more important than ever that we work together to promote the importance and benefits of a brain healthy lifestyle, as well as shine light on the 600+ neurological conditions, some rare and emerging, that affect so many lives”, said Ms Palumbo.
View the World Federation of Neurology, Brain Health Videos below: