Brain Awareness Week 2019
(BAW) coordinated by the Dana Foundation, is an opportunity for partners around the globe to share their research and educate people of all ages and backgrounds about the brain and the promise of brain research.The Neurology Academy, as neurological educators, are keen to cover as broad a picture of a condition as possible, from physiological presentations to optimal management, from latest research to quality service delivery.For us, brain research, pharmacological advances, holistic care and patient experience are all as valid as each other. Equipped with understanding of all, health professionals are better able to support someone living with a neurological condition.This Brain Awareness Week 2019, we are choosing to highlight share something of that range of impact, looking at different conditions and the work going on to support those living with them.We hope you will join us in this global movement in learning, and sharing your own knowledge of our brains and the impact they have on our lives, this week.
The brain is an immensely complex organ and we are learning so much more about it all the time. This Brain Awareness Week gives us a chance to find out more about the research happening globally around brain health, neurological disorders and much more.Research is a huge field for neurological conditions. It might involve looking at the physiological impact of a condition on the brain to improve diagnostics, management or to aid in the search for a cure. It may be seeking an advance in pharmacological options, such as new research into disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s or examining physical patterns like gait to revolutionise practical management.The Parkinson’s Academy recently joined forces with The Cure Parkinson’s Trust to deliver a Research Engagement meeting. Find out more about it, listen to the podcasts, watch the videos and learn more about every element of the research life cycle from idea inception to clinical delivery.
A neurological condition like MS affects much more than the brain; it can impact every element of life from emotional regulation and cognitive processing to physical movement and control over bodily functions, to experiencing fatigue and pain on a daily basis.This range of experiences starting in the brain and fanning out into a body, a life, a family and a community, demonstrates the wide ranging reach that support and services needs to have. Yet, our services and support for people with MS are of variable quality and accessibility.The Neurology Academy are supporting the MS community to come together and change this through a national project to tackle service inequality for people with MS.Find out more or get involved in this national drive to improve services and support for people living with MS.
There has been some incredible research into dementia and relative brain health in the past few years.Recently, links between dementia, stroke and cardiovascular disease have been highlighted with common risk factors such as depression, obesity and high blood pressure associated with all three conditions.Research into inflammation and dementia is also a growing area of interest, with dementia now being termed ‘brain failure’ by experts in the field.With dementia a growing societal concern affected more than 50 million people worldwide and counting, research into prevention, through maintaining a healthy brain for as long as possible, is of increasing focus.Find out more about how we can protect our brains for longer through maintaining a healthy lifestyle and helping our healthspan to last for more of our lifespan.
Palliative care is being increasingly recognised as having significance separate to the end of life.For people with a neurological condition where brains’ deterioration is impacting cognition and thought processes, it is even more important that they have the time and space to consider their preferences for care and support, and the emotional support to discuss those challenging existential questions and to explore more spiritual matters.This Brain Awareness Week we would like to flag that recent studies have found that ‘Early palliative care can improve quality of life, decrease depressive symptoms, and prolong life’. Whether this directly impacts the physical brain is unclear, but the positive mental impact is undeniable.Rethinking palliative care? Find out more.