During the period of 12-18 March 2018 Brain Awareness Week is celebrated at international level. Events are organised around the world, with the aim of increasing awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.
On March 12, the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA) and the Association of Patients with Neurodegenerative Conditions in Romania (APAN) hosted an event on ‘Brain Heath’. The event was part of the Training Initiatives for Neurology Advocates (TINA) of EFNA and made a brief overview of what is neuroscience, cognitive reserve with details about the importance of sleep and nutrition for the proper functioning of the brain.
The concept of personalised medicine and what can be applied in neurological conditions was also discussed in more detail. Neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation were two other topics that were approached, with a focus on digital brain health applications and methods that are present in Romania and can provide support in the recovery process.
“Neuroscience represents a relatively new discipline. Nowadays most of the population lacks knowledge about the types of the most common neurological conditions (Stroke, Migraines, Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.) therefore, these conditions are some of the most affected by stigma. The challenges faced by our healthcare systems are generated by the high cost of treatment, the need for multi-disciplinary teams and various therapeutic options, but also by insufficient investment in R&D, in comparison to other diseases.”
– Andreea Antonovici, Public Affairs the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) and Vice-President APAN Romania.
“Neuroscience is the science dedicated to studying and understanding of the nervous system. It gathers under the same umbrella medicine, physics, psychology, informatics, end even philosophy, to better understand and find explanations to the current gaps in the field. Neuroscience focuses on the dynamics, structure, functions, genetics, biochemistry, physiology and pathology of the nervous system.
Our entire existence, what we feel, the way we perceive the world, the way we think and how we behave in society, our interactions with each other, are a result of the functioning of our nervous system, the network of nerves as they run from the spinal cord to various parts of the body. Because of this, it is very important to get a clear understanding and of the nervous system, as a progress for medicine and for all of us. At Neuroaxis we are working towards a better understanding of this field, neuroscience, through our actions dedicated to neurology and the tangential domains”
– Dr Dan Mitrea, Founder and Neurologist of Neuroaxis Romania
“Personalised medicine is about getting the right treatment for the right person at the right time. Personalised medicine begins with the patient. It has a huge potential for improving the quality of life of many patients, as well as to ensure increased effectiveness and transparency of health systems. However, its integration into clinical practice and daily care proves to be difficult. There are still many barriers and challenges related to access to healthcare services in a timely manner.”
– Dr Marius Geantă, President Centre for Innovation in Medicine Romania
Cognition and cognitive reserve was one of the most appreciated topics by the audience.
“If we keep our brains active, we are making new pathways. By taking on board new responsibilities, learning new things and getting out of the comfort zone, we keep our brain active. Research has shown that people with greater cognitive reserve are better able to stave off the degenerative brain changes associated with dementia or other brain conditions. “
– Dr Carmen Adella Sarbu, The Central Military Hospital Bucharest
“Patients should be at the centre of a multidisciplinary team, something that rarely happens in Romana. The doctor-patient communication needs to change, to evolve, patients nowadays are very well informed and document thoroughly the affection they suffer from. Therefore, it is tremendously important for the medical professional to change the way they treat patients – they are empowered and want to be treated as such. Patients need to be consulted when discussing their therapy options.”
– Dragos Popescu, President, APAN Romania
The event aimed to contribute to the personal and professional development of representatives of patient organizations in Romania in the field of neurology, initiative that that will ultimately benefit the patients these organisations represent. Patient representatives from the following patient groups were present: Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson, Alzheimer, Huntington, Dystonia, Myasthenia Gravis, mental health patient groups as well as rare diseases.
Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Every March, BAW unites the efforts of partner organizations worldwide in a celebration of the brain for people of all ages.