WBD 2023

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Brain Health and Disability: Leave No One Behind

The World Federation of Neurology and the World Federation for Neurorehabilitation are pleased to announce the theme for the 2023 World Brain Day is Brain Health and Disability.

This year's theme will inspire a global initiative to close the gaps in disability education and awareness and to break down barriers to health care that exist for individuals with disabilities. When it comes to brain health, may we leave no one behind.

Taking place on July 22, 2023, the campaign will share important information related to the global impact of brain health and disability. Brain disabilities affect every age group, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status. On World Brain Day, we will raise global awareness in an effort to improve access and reduce gaps in equity. Brain disabilities can be prevented, treated, and rehabilitated. Universal access to professional care, treatment, rehabilitation and assistive technology is essential—and it starts with education. Brain health is a human right which applies to everyone, everywhere. Join us on World Brain Day as we make sure that no one is left behind. Learn more at www.wfneurology.org.

This World Brain Day is framed by five key aims:

  • Prevention: Brain disabilities can be prevented, treated and rehabilitated.
  • Awareness: Global brain health awareness can reduce the disability associated with brain disorders.
  • Access: Universal access to care, treatment, rehabilitation and assistive technology is essential.
  • Education: Education increases equity for those living with brain disabilities.
  • Advocacy: Brain health is a human right that applies to everyone, everywhere.


Individuals with disabilities have so many odds stacked against them.

We selected this year's theme to bring attention to the large number of people suffering from neurological disability worldwide.
Prof. Grisold, President of WFN



This is our chance to show up for people with disabilities that stem from neurological diseases and create a global effort to break down barriers that prevent them from achieving the highest possible standard of health that everyone deserves. 

So many of these individuals face stigma, discrimination, lack of access to professional care and rehabilitation that can change their lives.
David Dodick, MD, Emeritus Professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic, and World Brain Day Co-Chair.

This initiative will expand awareness and help illustrate the complexity of issues that individuals with disabilities often face and will emphasize the importance of prioritizing efforts to make the world more accessible and equitable for everyone. With the world's support, we can ensure we leave no one behind. 

This World Brain Day will provide a vital opportunity to fight for the equality of people with disabilities on a global scale.

Through advocacy and policy changes, our collective voices will spark a worldwide movement for better health care access that will lift the global burden of brain disabilities.
Prof. Tissa Wijeratne, World Brain Day Co-Chair.
When we all work together, we make significant strides toward achieving a better universal understanding of brain health, which can help us create a real difference for individuals living with disabilities.

We anticipate World Brain Day 2023 to be a step in the right direction.
Prof. Grisold

WBD 2023



  • Disability results from the relationship between a person's health condition and environmental factors—including stigma, inaccessible public spaces and a lack of social support, according to WHO.
  • Almost everyone will experience temporary or permanent disability at some point in their life.
  • A person's environment influences how they experience the disability they live with.
  • Brain disabilities can be prevented, treated and rehabilitated.
  • If the current rate continues, it is estimated only 23% of the burden from neurological disorders will be prevented by 2040.


  • Neurological disorders are the number one cause of disability-adjusted life years.
  • Neurological disability can be long-term physical, mental, cognitive or sensory impairments that may restrict a person from fully participating in society. 
  • Understanding the importance of prioritizing brain health requires an awareness of the important role the brain plays in leading a meaningful and purposeful life.
  • Neurological disorders such as stroke, migraine, dementia, meningitis and epilepsy are the number one cause of disability-adjusted life years.
  • People with disabilities can die up to 20 years earlier compared to people without disabilities.  
  • People with disabilities are twice as likely to develop chronic conditions which can further negatively impact brain health such as depression, diabetes, obesity or stroke.
  • Care for brain disabilities is often provided by unpaid family members or friends.


  • Universal health coverage and access is an essential aspect of health equity.
  • Resources for improvement can be made locally to reduce gaps in equity.
  • Access to diagnostics, medicines, interventional procedures, assistive technologies, biological products and cell and gene therapy are required to optimize brain health.


  • Education of health care professionals will reduce the global impact of brain disabilities.
  • Public education will empower individuals to seek care, optimize their brain health and reduce the disability associated with neurological disorders.


  • Together, we must advocate for equality for those with disabilities and address discrimination.
  • Stigma, discrimination and social exclusion are common challenges that people living with brain disabilities—and their families—unnecessarily endure.
  • The prevention and care of brain disabilities is a responsibility for all of humanity. We must work to unite health officials, policymakers and the public to work together for solutions.

Yakkety Yak marketingMEDIA CONTACT

Ryan Pollock  |  ryan@yakketyyak.com

Yakkety Yak Marketing


Mrs Jade Levy | Jade@wfneurology.org

WFN Education Project Coordinator