Brain health is central to your wellbeing. It can be useful to understand how your brain functions in order to keep it healthy. Here you will find information on both brain anatomy and functioning. We also provide tips on how to keep your brain healthy and how to avoid and prevent injuries.
Click on a specific topic to jump to that section:
Parts of the Brain
~ a three part video series featuring Dr. Jennifer Yao, MD, FRCPC
In the first part of this educational video series you will learn about the 2 hemispheres of the brain as well as the frontal and parietal lobes. The second video explains the function of the temporal and occipital lobe and the cerebellum and brainstem. In the third video Dr Yao talks about the ventricles, the cerebral spinal fluid and the oxygen needed for the brain to function.
Dr. Jennifer Yao graduated from UBC Medical School in 1997 and completed her specialist training in 2002 with the UBC Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is a UBC Clinical Assistant Professor and works on the Acquired Brain Injury Program and the Adolescent Young Adult Program at GF Strong Rehab Centre. Dr. Yao also serves as a consulting physiatrist at Vancouver Hospital.
Brain anatomy websites
Are you interested to learn more about the brain’s anatomy and function? These are a selection of health care organizations with excellent educational resources about brain health, structure and function. Click on the arrows beneath each resource to explore their materials.
Take a Brain Tour
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Brain Tour provides an overview of brain anatomy and function right down to blood vessels, nerve cells, synapses and electrical charges.
Anatomy for kids
Discover the world of the brain on Neuroscience for Kids. Use the experiments, activities and games to learn about the nervous system.
Brain and Spinal Cord
The Canadian Cancer Society breaks down the structure and function of both the brain and spinal cord.
Keeping Your Brain Healthy
It’s all about preventing an injury, living a healthy life and finding ways to take care of your body, mind and spirit. Below are some tips on how to keep each of these aspects of life balanced.
- Reduce or eliminate the risk of injury to your brain
- Eat a healthy diet – limit sugar, salt and alcohol; eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day; eat more cold water oily fish (or fish oil supplements)
- Monitor and control your blood pressure, blood sugar and weight
- Keep physically active – aim for 30 minutes of brisk exercise a day
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night
- Keep your mind active and keep learning new things
- Seek out new experiences
- Manage fatigue by planning ahead and using energy conservation/pacing techniques
- Take steps to reduce stress in your life such as using relaxation techniques, deep breathing, positive thinking,
meditation/praying, visualization, enjoying nature
- Find activities that give meaning and purpose to your life
- Develop and maintain a network of people who are supportive to you
- Look for ways to support others
Injury Prevention Resources
BC Injury, Research and Prevention Unit’s (BCIRPU) mission is to reduce the burden of injury in BC through research, surveillance, education, knowledge transfer and public education.
Community Against Preventable Injuries focuses on changing attitudes and behaviours towards preventable injuries and safety at home, at play, at work and on the road.
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide information and resources about concussion/mild traumatic brain injury, recovery and prevention. There are specific resources for physicians and patients, coaches, athletes and parents in high school sports and youth sports and falls prevention for seniors.
Canadian Fall Prevention Educational Collaborative provides tips for fall prevention for those over 65. However, whatever age we are, none of us are immune to falling. The Government of Canada also provides excellent tips for fall prevention here.
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Heart and Stroke Foundation provides information on the signs of a stroke, how to control blood pressure, helps you understand cholesterol, helps you achieve a healthy weight and provides healthy living guidelines.
We all have a part to play in keeping our roads safe. How well do you know yours? The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia shares tips road and driving safety.
Parachute is a national charitable organization that aims to foster an injury free community. Their website strives to bring attention to preventable injury and to help Canadians reduce their risks of injury and enjoy long lives lived to the fullest.
Prevention and Playing It Safe video series
Doctors, professional athletes and coaches, health care professionals and brain injury survivors all emphasize the importance of taking precautions to prevent head injuries as they can permanently change your life. They share their ideas and strategies on how to prevent brain injuries and stress that education about head injuries is a key prevention tool.
Brain Fitness and Games
Fit Brains provides brain games. Click the link below to try them out!
Lumosity provides courses and games to improve attention, memory, processing speed and cognitive flexibility.
Sharp Brains is a market research and publishing firm tracking brain fitness and cognitive health. Go to the How-To Guide and Teasers (brain games) sections.