Many determinants are known to affect brain health at different stages of life.

The new WHO position paper launched on 9 August 2022 presents a framework for understanding brain health and the importance of brain health optimization for all. Brain health can be defined as the state of brain functioning across cognitive, sensory, social-emotional, behavioral and motor domains, allowing a person to realize their full potential over their life course, irrespective of the presence or absence of disorders. Many determinants are known to impact brain health and continuous interactions between these determinants plus an individual’s context lead to lifelong adaptation of brain structure and functioning. The position paper provides insight into the following clusters of determinants:

  • physical health,
  • healthy environments,
  • safety and security,
  • learning and social connection and
  • access to quality services.


Optimizing brain health can not only reduces the prevalence and burden of neurological disorders, but also improve mental and physical health overall and create positive social and economic impacts, all of which contribute to greater well-being and help advance society, irrespective of the presence or absence of disorders.


Access to WHO position paper