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WHO launches first position paper on brain health - Yara.ng
Home Health & Food WHO launches first position paper on brain health

WHO launches first position paper on brain health

by James Davies


Oluwatobiloba Jaiyeola 

The World Health Organisation has announced the launch of its first position paper on understanding the brain health of individuals.

The global health agency said the paper presents a framework for understanding the importance of optimising brain health for everyone across the globe, in a bid to reduce the rate of many chronic health conditions.

It noted that the brain and central nervous system are the command centres of the human body, adding that if an individual’s brain is affected by diseases, it could pose a risk to that individual’s well-being and to global development and productivity.

The UN health agency disclosed this in a statement posted on its official website.

Brain health is the state of brain functioning across cognitive, sensory, social-emotional, behavioural, and motor domains, allowing an individual to recognise their full potential over their life course, irrespective of the presence or absence of disorders.

It added that the new WHO position paper provides future directions for measuring brain health and addressing brain health determinants.

The global health agency further revealed that it is estimated that one in three individuals will develop a neurological disorder at some point in their life, making neurological disorders the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death.

The WHO said, “Brain health is an evolving concept, attracting increasing attention not only from the health sector but also from wider society, stimulating rich debate — and for good reasons.

“The new WHO position paper launched on 9 August 2022 presents a framework for understanding brain health and the importance of brain health optimisation for all.

“It also demonstrates the relevance of optimising brain health within the broader context of public health and society and offers practical policy solutions and future directions for the field including specific actions for addressing brain health determinants, ongoing priorities in brain health research, and operationalising and measuring brain health.”

“The position paper provides insight into the following clusters of determinants such as physical health, healthy environments, safety and security, learning and social connection, and access to quality services.

“Many determinants are known to impact brain health and continuous interactions between these determinants plus an individual’s context lead to lifelong adaptation of brain structure and functioning,” it added.

According to the global health agency, optimising brain health by addressing these determinants leads to multiple benefits including lower rates of many chronic health conditions such as neurological, mental, substance use and physical — as well as improved quality of life and multiple social and economic benefits, all of which will contribute to greater well-being and help advance the society.

“The brain and central nervous system are the command centres of the human body, controlling both conscious and unconscious body functions and thereby influencing every aspect of life.

“If our brains are challenged by disease or other factors, this poses significant risks not only to an individual’s overall health and well-being but also to global development and productivity,” The WHO said. 

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