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Brain Awareness Week: Specialist warns against hard knocks

Lagos – A neuroanatomist, Dr Ademola Oremosu, on Thursday warned parents to desist from giving their children knocks on the head in the heat of anger to prevent trauma to the brain.

Men and women brains

Oremosu gave the warning in an interview with in Lagos to mark the Brain Awareness Week (BAW), which is celebrated from March 12 to March 18 every year.

The BAW is a nationwide effort organised by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Society for Neuroscience to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research.

The theme of the 2018 Brain Awareness Week is: “Protect the Brain, Protect the Future’’.
Oremosu, who is the Chairman, Lagos Neuroscience Group (LNG), said that children of ages three and four had soft skulls and as such needed to be properly taken care of.

“Whatever trauma affects the brain is going to literally affect the entire function of the body; that is why we still encourage people, particularly parents that even when you are angry with children, don’t hit them on the head.

“Any trauma to the brain is potentially dangerous for a child that is very young that is between ages three and four.
“The skull bone is still very soft, if you hit the child hard enough at the back of the head which is specialised for vision, if you damage that brain, that child can be permanently blind.

“Trauma to the brain should be avoided as much as possible that is for the same reason road safety officials say children should not sit in the front seat of the car.
“This is because a child can be easily propelled out of a car while the driver is accelerating and decelerating,’’ the physician said.

He urged for care to be given to the brain, saying that people should be very conscious in their homes of things that could potentially cause trauma, especially to children, and avoid them.

“Even swings, sometimes if you are not there and the children are pushing themselves and the velocity is so high and it propels the child, if child lands the head on the ground, that could cause serious injury to the brain,’’ Oremosu said.

According to the expert, anything can cause trauma.

Oremosu further said that trauma that involved the head region or even the spine could damage the nervous system.

He said: “If you have a trauma that severs the hand, it will also sever the peripheral nerve.

“What do I mean? The nervous system is like the electrical system in the house, the moment there is no electricity in your house, the bulbs and other electrical appliances won’t work,’’ Oremosu said.

NAN reports that for first time, the Lagos Neuroscience Group of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, marked the week by taking a walk from Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) through Ojuelegba to Yaba.

The awareness walk saw the group chanting songs like: “If you protect the brain, you will protect the future’’, and carrying placards with inscriptions like “quit smoking’’, “having lots of friends can help in protecting the brain’’ and “don’t abuse or misuse drugs’’.

The LNG is a multidisciplinary group of professionals whose research interests are in neuroscience and areas like structure, function, chemistry and imaging, diseases of the system and behaviour of the nervous system. (NAN)


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