Keep Brain Healthy

Dr. S K Gupta
Each year July 22nd is observed as World Brain Day. This is a critically important opportunity to promote brain health as quoted by World Federation of Neurology (WFN).
Brain Health is maintained by:-
* Regular exercise and Yoga.
* Good food habits and use of plenty of fruits and vegetables.
* Avoid smoking and excess use of Alcohol.
* Keep your weight on an average.
Proper treatment of Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, obesity and dyslipidaemia.
Use your brain at maximum with reading, solving different day to day problems and don’t sit idle. This year on World Brain Day the key message is on Migraine.
Migraine is the most common brain disease in the world affecting 1 in 7 people worldwide. It is one of the leading causes of disability in the world and can cause severe impact on every aspect of life. Migraine is under recognized, under diagnosed and under treated.
It receives less research funding than all the World’s most burdensome diseases. It the 3rd most common neurological disorder after stroke and dementia. It is relatively invisible because of the low mortality but ranks very highly as a cause of disability.
Migraine is most common painful condition of the mankind. It is known as early as 3000 BC. According to International Headache Society, Migraine is a French word derived from Megrim, which inturn, is derived from the Latin Word Hemicrania.
It is a periodic and paraoxysmal disorder that affects more than 17% of women and 6% of men. It is commonly seen in childhood and adolescence.
80% of cases are seen before the age of 30 years, 15% cases of headache occurs doing premenstrual period. During pregnancy attacks ceases in 75 – 80% of cases.
Two types of Migraine:-
Classic with aura, Common without aura, in the ratio of 1:5
In Migraine attacks pain is unilateral initially and may go to other side. It is severe and worsens with routine activity. Pain is often associated with nausea, severe vomiting, sensitivity to light sound and odors. Migraine attacks are relieved by lying in a dark room or by vomiting and in some cases attacks can be familial.
Remember Migraine attacks are Precipitated by:-
* Physical Stress
* Tension and emotional stress
* Excess use of alcohol especially red wine, cheese and chocolate
* Lack of sleep & hunger.
* Glare of light.
* Head trauma, fatigue.
* Strong Smell
* Smoky or stuffy atmosphere and noise.
* Perfumes
These are also known as triggers of Migraine
Diagnosis of migraine is purely clinical but sometimes investigations are done to rule out secondary causes of headache.
* Avoid Triggers
* Yoga, Exercise, Counseling and Psychotherapy
* Good and healthy diet.
* Life style modifications
* Avoid stress
* Use of drugs to treat the acute attack.
* Take drugs for prevention of frequent attacks of migraine.
* Keep record of attacks.
* Keep yourself as fit as possible
* Regular exercise and relaxation exercises
* Do eat regularly.
* Do learn to cope with stress.
* Do rest in dark and quite place during the attack.
* If you feel an attack is coming on, take medications immediately to abort the attack.
* Don’t drive during the attack.
* Don’t prolong attacks by trying to ignore them.
* Don’t over exert yourself.
* Don’t indulge in excessive drinking of alcohol.
* Don’t travel in poor weather conditions.
* Don’t miss your daily meals.
* Don’t under or over sleep.
Keep your brain healthy by:-
* Regular exercise
* Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
* Avoid smoking and excess use of alcohol.
* Always keep your brain active
Avoid triggers for Migraine, take proper adequate treatment for acute attack and preventive medicines to avoid frequent attacks with consultation of a neurologist.
(The author is Neurologist)