World Brain Day was established by the World Federation of Neurology in 2014. The Day aims to increase public awareness and promote advocacy related to brain health. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Stop Multiple Sclerosis”. The campaign encourages early diagnosis, the provision of better access to life-changing treatments, and advocates for improved quality of life for those living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their caregivers.
Pain is common in patients with multiple sclerosis. The point prevalence of pain in patients with MS is nearly 50%, and approximately 75% of patients report having had pain within one month of assessment. Pain has a negative impact on most aspects of health-related quality of life for many patients, including functional domains such as the ability to work. Pain in MS is associated with older age, duration of MS, depression, level of functional impairment, and fatigue. Several different types of pain are found in patients with MS, including back pain, extremity pain, trigeminal neuralgia, Lhermitte’s sign, painful tonic spasms, and headache.
The effect of various pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments on pain outcomes in multiple sclerosis has not been well studied overall. However, available evidence does show that exercise can have an effect on pain levels in patients with MS, as well as improving general wellbeing and function.
The European Pain Federation’s ‘On The Move’ campaign has extensive resources to help patients participate in more exercise.
For more information on World Brain Day and the onset, treatment, and prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis visit https://wfneurology.org/world-brain-day-2021