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Online resource encourages everyone to improve brain health

An innovative website promoting brain health has been launched in Trinity College Dublin as part of a new EU Commission initiative to increase the societal impact of brain research.

More people across the EU are now living longer than ever before. However failing mental function can frequently impair the quality of those extra years. The Hello Brain campaign brings together the latest information on brain health together with the latest brain research in a bid to raise public awareness of the importance of investing in brain health in order to support independent living in our older years. The diversity of cognitive functioning observed in older adults, together with the scientific discovery that the brain is plastic, has sparked considerable European research seeking ways to maintain cognitive function, prevent decline, extend independent living and promote active and healthy ageing. The campaign hopes to help the general public understand how their brain works, what science is discovering about that remarkable mass of fatty tissue inside our head and how to keep it healthy.

The Hello Brain campaign, which is the public face of the ASAPS project (A Sharing Approach to Promoting Science), received €1 million funding from the EU Commission under its Seventh Framework Programme. The project, led by Trinity College Dublin, is co-ordinated by Dr Sabina Brennan, Principal Investigator at the Institute of Neuroscience and Assistant Director of Trinity’s NEIL (Neuro-Enhancement for Independent Lives) Programme. Significantly, the campaign translates complex scientific information into is easy-to-understand, practical health and well-being information designed to encourage people to be more proactive about their brain health so that they can live independently for longer.

The Hello Brain website, (available in English, French and German) provides practical tips on how to keep your brain healthy using a range of entertaining videos and online resources, including the Hello Brain Health App which can be downloaded for free.

The Hello Brain App provides daily suggestions to support brain health and it is available for smartphone (iPhone and Android) as well as iPad. The campaign has also developed a web-version of the App for those who prefer to work from their computer and a hardcopy version, available to download from the website, for those who prefer pen and paper. The campaign invites users to take the Hello Brain Challenge “to do one thing every day that’s good for your brain health”. Social media platforms Facebook and Twitter help to make the campaign more interactive, encouraging a sense of community participation among users.

Hello Brain website includes six short animations (all approx. 2 minutes) specifically produced for the campaign:

  • What will your life look like in 50 years?
  • Will I lose my memory when I get old?
  • How can I keep my brain sharp when my body gets old?
  • Is exercise good for my brain?
  • Is it ever too late to follow your childhood dreams?
  • What makes your brain work?