A Consultant Neurosurgeon, Brain and Spine Surgery Consortium (BASS ), Dr Biodun Ogungbo on Saturday advised Nigerians on healthy lifestyle and regular exercises for optimal condition of the brain.
Ogungbo gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja to commemorate the World Brain Day.
This year’s theme for the World Brain Day is: “Brain health for all – brain disorders affect billions of people worldwide and are the leading causes of disability”.
He said it was imperative that everyone took good care of their brains, saying “one only has one brain to last for a lifetime”.
“We all must look after our brains by eating healthy and giving the brain regular work-out and adequate sleep.
“Exercises such as learning a new language, a new skill, using both left and right hands and even joining in games and sports ensure the brain remains in optimal condition for the rest of our lives,” Ogungbo said.
“The brain is a special organ and it controls the whole of the body; brain is responsible for who we are and what we do.
“It is responsible for our personality, behaviour, and allows us to do things like reasoning, smiling, talking, swallowing, moving our hands and legs. It allows us to breathe and allows our heart to beat.
“The brain is one person, and one cannot get a new one, unlike the heart, lungs, liver or kidneys.”
Ogungbo said it was imperative that everyone looked after the brain, saying, “we only have one brain to last us for a lifetime.”
“The other important thing to do is to avoid injury. Cigarette smoking, hard drugs, alcohol, hypertension, diabetes and strokes can do damage to the brain.
“Stroke, especially can make a 40-year-old age significantly look like a 60-year-old before our very eyes,” he said.
He said that proper awareness and education was required to keep the brain active, adding that “the brain is the most crucial body organ.”
Ogungbo said there were several factors that govern brain health, which include cognitive factors, psychological factors, social and biological factors as well.
He said brain health complications manifest as neurodevelopmental and neurological conditions.
“Few of such complications listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) are intellectual developmental disorders, autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, dementia, cerebrovascular disease, headache and multiple sclerosis.
“Others are Parkinson’s disease, neuroinfections, brain tumors, traumatic injury and neurological disorders resulting from malnutrition.
“The World Health Organisation has set agenda and goals to manage brain complications and reduce their occurrence, “ he said.
Ogungbo said keeping the brain healthy was essential for living a long and full life, adding that the goal of brain fitness was to maintain brain health, while avoiding or combating cognitive diseases.