It is the centre of your body’s universe. And like any other part of the human body, it needs to be maintained.1 Brain health encompasses cognitive, sensory, social-emotional, behavioural and motor functioning.2
Many factors influence brain health. These include physical wellbeing, safety, environment, lifelong learning, social interaction and access to healthcare services. Optimising your brain health by paying attention to these factors can benefit your long-term health and ensure you remain a productive member of society.2
They control our thoughts, emotions, physical movements and overall well-being. However, when our brains aren't healthy, it can significantly impact our bodies and daily lives.3
Various factors can negatively affect brain health, including injuries from stroke, trauma, inflammation and infections.3
Degenerative and immune-mediated diseases also contribute to poor brain health. These conditions can lead to decreased cognitive and physical function, reducing independence and quality of life. They create a burden of care that affects individuals, families and society.3
Unfortunately, not everyone has equal access to brain health care. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), only about 25% of the world’s population has access to more than one trained neurologist per 100,000 people.3
Other barriers, like expensive medical treatments, poverty, trauma and a lack of education, are also a challenge.3
At Roche Pharmaceuticals Africa, we are committed to overcoming these barriers and improving brain health for all. By promoting awareness, facilitating early detection of brain-related illnesses and advocating for accessible and affordable treatments, we aim to empower individuals and communities to protect and maintain their brain health.
Many disorders and conditions, including some central nervous system disorders, are connected to brain health. These range from physical disorders to mental health problems and disabilities.
These conditions include4:
Headache disorders such as migraines
Neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and Parkinson's disease
Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder
Neuroimmunological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS)
MS is an incurable chronic neurological condition that affects brain health. The condition is characterised by the body’s immune system destroying brain and spinal cord tissue.
With MS, brain tissue is damaged and brain volume is lost more rapidly than it is in healthy individuals. Healthy individuals have a small amount of brain atrophy that naturally occurs with aging (0.1%-0.5% per year), whereas untreated MS patients have an average brain atrophy rate of 0.5-1.35% per year.5
However, MS patients can take active measures to improve their brain health.6
As we commemorate World Brain Day on 22 July 2023, we aim to keep more people informed about the importance of brain health. Together, we can create a world where everyone has the opportunity to live a fulfilling life with optimal brain health. Here are a few basic daily steps to maintain a healthier brain.
Full details are available from Roche Products (Pty) Ltd, P.O. Box 1469, Halfway House, 1686. Tel: 011 504 4746 or Tollfree on REAL (Roche Ethical Assistance Line): 0800 21 21 25. www.roche.co.za. M-ZA-00001832. Expiry Date: 18 July 2025
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