Preserving brain health

Our brains are deeply interconnected with our social, spiritual, and physical health, making good brain function or brain health essential to quality of life and longevity.

Sadly, as the population ages, the number of people suffering neurological disorders increases, and so too do the challenges for the preservation of brain health. In the coming decades, governments will face increasing demand for treatment, rehabilitation, and support services for neurological disorders.

Stroke, migraine, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and meningitis, are the largest contributors to neurological disability. Research shows that about one in four adults will have a stroke in their lifetime, from the age of 25 years onwards, and predictions are that roughly 152 million people worldwide will be living with dementia by 2050.

Medically, neurological disorders that cause brain dysfunction can be classified into three groups: Brain diseases with overt damage to brain structures, such as cerebrovascular diseases, traumatic brain injury, brain tumours, meningitis, and communication and sensory disorders.

Functional brain disorders with detectable destruction of brain connections or networks, such as neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias) and mental disorders (schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, and drug abuse).

Other brain disorders without detectable structural or functional impairment, such as migraine and sleep disorders.

In Christchurch, the BrainTree Wellness Centre is an innovative, first-of-its-kind facility that supports people living with neurological conditions to live well in the community. The centre opened its doors to the community in July 2022, and since then, thanks to ongoing fundraising efforts, has supported hundreds of people in the community.

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