Women’s Brain Health Day was established in 2019 by the Women’s Brain Health Initiative (WBHI) and supported by many leading brain health organisations, including the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA). This day was created to raise awareness of brain-aging diseases that disproportionately affect women, as well as to raise funds to help combat these diseases.
In 2020, the WBHI raised over $750,000 for new women’s brain health research.
Visit the WBHI to find out more about the trailblazing initiatives run by the WBHI, donate and get involved.
What are Brain-Aging Diseases?
Brain-aging diseases are diseases of the brain that tend to appear in older age, such as Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s.
What are the Symptoms of Brain-Aging Diseases?
According to alz.org® Canada, the symptoms of brain-aging diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other dementias include:
- Changes in mood or personality
- Memory loss
- Problems with communication, either written or spoken.
- Trouble completing tasks that were once easy
- Trouble with vision
What’s the Difference Between Women’s and Men’s Brain Health?
Women’s and men’s brains are built the same. Yet, 2 out of 3 Alzheimer’s sufferers are women. Dementias and other memory loss illnesses also tend to affect more women than men.
Why is that? It’s a well-known fact that the risk of dementias increases with age, and women tend to live longer than men. In Canada, women live around 4 years longer than men. But does that 4 years really account for the nearly twofold greater risk of developing a brain disease? Scientists say not entirely.
In fact, scientists are suggesting that hormones, as well as numerous genetic and social influences, are to blame for the imbalance of brain diseases between the sexes.
What Can Women Do to Boost their Brain Health?
We can do a lot to improve our brain health, even despite the odds.
Since lifestyle has been linked to dementia, by eating healthily, getting enough exercise and making other positive life choices, it may be possible to delay or even prevent dementia.
Eating more vegetables and drinking more water are some suggestions to help improve brain health. Taking vitamin supplements are another popular brain-health-boosting choice. But Harvard Medical School says there’s little to no evidence these supplements have any impact on brain health.
How Can I Help Raise Awareness of Women’s Brain Health?
There are many organisations, charities and government bodies in Canada working to change the outlook on brain health for women and men alike. Below are just a few of them.
To find out more and get involved with any of their initiatives, please click on the links below.
Women’s Brain Health Initiative