As 2021 rapidly speeds up and COVID-19 leaves its trail of destruction it is clear to see how important general and brain health is for resilience against disease and its broader impact. These lessons go beyond COVID-19 and apply to any disease. This is why our #BrainHealth #TimeMatters campaign is so important for people with MS (pwMS) and the general public and why prehabilitation needs to become a way of life. I know this is easier said than done, but start small and gradually expand your horizons.
It is often said to make good habits stick start doing one thing at a time and try and do it for 2-3 weeks and then the behaviour becomes sticky and you are more likely to persist with it longterm.
I am so pleased that the messages from our ‘Brain Health: Time Matters in MS’ policy document are finally getting traction and buy-in from the wider MS community. Shortly before my accident, I spoke to a group of Australian MS social media influencers about the principles of Brain Health and they went away and produced some online materials that will help spread the philosophy and nudge other pwMS and the wider MS community to take MS Brain Health more seriously.
It was quite clear that when we developed the MS policy document that the message of maximising Brain Health was as relevant to the general population as to pwMS, which is why we went on to write a new and separate policy document ‘Time matters A call to prioritize Brain Health’ and launched the ‘Think Brain Health’ campaign, which targets the general population. Although this focuses on preventing age-related cognitive impairment and neurodegeneration the messages are very similar to one we promote to pwMS.
I was, therefore, thrilled to see that Alzheimer’s Research UK have copied our slogan and have launched their own Think Brain Health campaign. May be Oscar Wilde was correct when he said: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. For me, the important take-home message is that Brain Health is becoming a treatment target and putting preventive neurology centre stage.
If you are reading this blog post can I suggest you pause and considering reading our ‘Brain Health: Time Matters in MS’ and ‘Time matters A call to prioritize Brain Health’ policy documents, they may change your life.