Grey mat­ter mat­ters

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY SOCIAL SCENE -

DID you know that the hu­man brain com­prises two per­cent of your body weight yet con­sumes 20 per cent of your oxy­gen in­take?

Brain Aware­ness Week was of­fi­cially cel­e­brated last week, from March 16-22 – cel­e­brat­ing Neuro sci­en­tific re­search through unique com­mu­nity pro­grams catered to peo­ple of all ages and back­grounds.

The pro­gram’s mission is sim­ply to ed­u­cate the public about the brain and brain re­search and is an op­por­tune time to raise brain aware­ness, par­tic­u­larly in re­la­tion to strokes.

Do­ing their part, Air­lie Beach Day and Night Chemist would like all Whit­sun­day res­i­dents to be more in­formed about the brain and know how to pre­vent a stroke.

A stroke hap­pens when blood sup­ply to the brain is in­ter­rupted.

Blood con­tains oxy­gen and im­por­tant nu­tri­ents for your brain cells and it may be in­ter­rupted or stop mov­ing through an artery, be­cause the artery is blocked (ischaemic stroke) or bursts (hae­m­or­rhagic stroke).

A stroke is al­ways a med­i­cal emer­gency and the longer a stroke re­mains un­treated, the greater the chance of stroke re­lated brain dam­age.

The risk of stroke and sec­ond stroke is in­flu­enced by a num­ber of fac­tors.

Stroke risk fac­tors that you can­not con­trol in­clude age (as you get older, your risk of stroke in­creases), gen­der (strokes are more com­mon in men), fam­ily his­tory, med­i­cal stroke risk fac­tors, tran­sient ischaemic attack (TIA), ir­reg­u­lar pulse (atrial fib­ril­la­tion), di­a­betes and fi­bro­mus­cu­lar dys­pla­sia (FMD).

Life­style stroke risk fac­tors that you can con­trol are high blood pres­sure, high choles­terol, smok­ing, obe­sity or be­ing over weight, high al­co­hol in­take and poor diet and lack of ex­er­cise.

You can get more in­for­ma­tion on life­style stroke risk fac­tors that you can con­trol from Air­lie Beach Day and Night Chemist.

AT­TEN­TIVE Air­lie Beach Day and Life chemist phar­ma­cist Alexan­dra Karlovic (left) and in­tern Ge­or­gia Law­less (right) per­form a blood test on cus­tomer Mar­garet Ma­conachie.

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