World Brain Day: Summary of Activities and Report

By Prof. Tissa Wijeratne, MD, PhD, FRACP, FRCP, FAAN, FEAN

Tissa Wijeratne

Let us convey our most sincere gratitude to all member societies for the engagement and strong support with yet another successful world brain day campaign. Neurological disorders are the leading cause of disability, and the overall burden will continue to rise with the pandemic’s ongoing impact and the problems associated with post COVID-19 neurological syndromes (Long-COVID).1-4 The burden of neurological disorders impacts mostly low to middle-income countries, where a larger percentage of the world’s population continue to experience the double whammy of disease burden and the impact of the pandemic.5-7

In this context, the WFN World Brain Day (WBD) campaign is of major importance. WBD was established in 2013 and first executed in 2014. Since then, this global advocacy campaign has been very successful.

Every year on July 22, the ambitious WBD campaign advocates brain health globally. In 2021, the WFN worked with the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), along with other broader global patient support organizations and WFN member societies, with the theme of “Stop Multiple Sclerosis” over several months until the World Congress of Neurology and ECTRIMS Congress in October.

Thousands of public awareness programs, educational programs, and social media activities were promoted worldwide as part of this massive advocacy campaign from July 22 until the end of October 2021.

Summary of Achievements

Outstanding social media reach during July 2021 with key statistics of 247,000 Twitter impressions in July. The website saw an increase in traffic:

  • 47,000 users: an increase of 66.9%
  • 57,000 sessions: 55%
  • 281.7% increase in traffic during WBD week, for roughly 7,821 users.
  • 48 promotional videos united the international community in support of World Brain Day (These interviews are highly inspirational, and I strongly recommend you check these out here).

Five social media videos attracted additional attention from the global audience. On World Brain Day, the WFN hosted a worldwide webinar to elevate multiple sclerosis awareness, focusing on the key impact points:

  • Prof. William Carroll, then-president of the World Federation of Neurology
  • Prof. Tissa Wijeratne, chair of World Brain Day, World Federation of Neurology
  • Prof. Wolfgang Grisold, Secretary-General of the World Federation of Neurology
  • Associate Prof. Brenda Banwell, chair of MSIF’s International Medical and Scientific Board
  • Prof. Mai Sharawy, co-founder of MS Care Egypt and chair of the board of MSIF

In summary, the 2021 WBD campaign was a resounding success as the campaign reached out to over 148 million people worldwide.

We are also pleased to announce that the 2022 World Brain Day campaign will be devoted to Brain Health for All (see box on the right and the following link: •

Prof. Tissa Wijeratne is the chair of Public Awareness and Advocacy at the World Federation of Neurology.



  1. Carroll, W.M., The global burden of neurological disorders. Lancet Neurol, 2019. 18(5): p. 418-419.
  2. Feigin, V.L., et al., The global burden of neurological disorders: translating evidence into policy. Lancet Neurol, 2020. 19(3): p. 255-265.
  3. Wijeratne, T., et al., COVID-19 Pathophysiology Predicts That Ischemic Stroke Occurrence Is an Expectation, Not an Exception-A Systematic Review. Front Neurol, 2020. 11: p. 607221.
  4. Wijeratne, T. and S. Crewther, Post-COVID 19 Neurological Syndrome (PCNS); a novel syndrome with challenges for the global neurology community. J Neurol Sci, 2020. 419: p. 117179.
  5. World Brain Day 2021 ‘Stopping MS’: an interview with Tissa Wijeratne and Joanna Laurson-Doube. Communications Biology, 2021. 4(1): p. 873.
  6. Wijeratne, T. and W. Carroll, World Brain Day 2021: Global campaign to stop multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler, 2021. 27(9): p. 1318-1319.
  7. Wijeratne, T., et al., World Brain Day 2021: a call to stop multiple sclerosis. Lancet Neurol, 2021. 20(8): p. 597-598.


Previous World Brain Day Topics

2014          Our Brain Our Future

2015          Epilepsy (ILAE)

2016          Brain Health and the Aging Population (ADI)

2017          Stroke (WSO)

2018          Clean Air for Brain Health

(WFN Environmental Neurology SG)

2019          Migraine (IHS)

2020          Parkinson’s Disease

(IPD and MDS)

2021          Stop Multiple Sclerosis (MSIF)


Announcing World Brain Day 2022

This year’s WBD will be devoted to Brain Health for All and will follow the WFN Brain Health campaign from last year.

Our goals are:

Awareness: Brain health is vital for mental, social, and physical wellbeing.

Prevention: Many brain diseases are preventable.

Advocacy: Global efforts are required for optimal brain health.

Education: Education for all is key for brain health.

Access: Equitable access to resources, treatment, and rehabilitation is essential for brain health.

Please follow us on social media and website for ongoing activities.