Give your brain a fighting chance

 Fergal Hughes encourages everyone to spread the word about Brain Awareness Week 2021.

This year, Brain Awareness Week takes place from Monday 15th to Sunday 21st of March 2021.

The Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI) is the umbrella organisation for groups representing the 800,000+ people in Ireland who have neurological conditions. And MS Ireland, a proud member of the NAI, is doing its bit by also supporting and promoting Brain Awareness Week 2021.

Brain Awareness Week was founded in 1995 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and every year since, Brain Awareness Week is coordinated by the Dana Foundation. Charles A. Dana was an American businessman and philanthropist. He presided over the Dana Foundation (which he helped create) until 1960, but even after that date, he continued to participate in its philanthropic work until his death in 1975.

What's the deal with Brain Awareness Week?

At its essence, it is a week-long global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. The NAI's theme this year is Promoting Access to Services.


Types of events held during Brain Awareness Week include lectures, panel discussions, neuroscience lab tours, art exhibitions, brain fairs and lessons for school students. The NAI has an excellent dedicated website for Brain Awareness Week:

The four main parts in this website are:

... where you'll learn, among other things that your brain has more electrical impulses in a single day than all the telephones in the world combined!

... where you'll learn, among other things, that ANY physical exercise helps the brain generate a chemical, BDNF, which encourages the growth of neural connections and new brain cells

... where you'll learn, among other things, how specialist services are making such a difference in the lives of people with neurological conditions and their families throughout Ireland

... where you'll learn, among other things, the sobering statistic that one in every four people will be affected by a neurological condition at some point in their lives

On the website, you can find the schedule of events including "Music, Dementia and Positive Ageing", a live streamed event scheduled for Monday 15th, a Virtual Bake for Brain Injury",  MS Ireland’s webinar ‘Integrated Care in Multiple Sclerosis’ on Thursday, 18th March at 6pm and many more diverse and interesting events.

How can you help your brain?

- You could read a little. As I tell my kids (mad video gamers that they are!), even as little as two pages a day benefits your brain!

- If you just *have* to watch TV (or YouTube videos), you could give over at least some of that time to watching the type of programs that are good for your brain, such as documentaries or quiz shows. Stuff that makes you think.

- You could do a little light physical exercise. Physical exercise (however little or light) has proven to be of enormous benefit to the brain (as well as the body).

- And lastly, you could spread the word about Brain Awareness Week. Tell your friends, family, colleagues, housemates to check out the NAI's website  If you’re on social media, use #Brainawarenessweek2021 #loveyourbrain2021