Study: Balance can reveal brain health

Study: Balance can reveal brain health

A new study, conducted by researchers at the Center for Genomic Medicine at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in Kyoto, Japan, and published in the American Heart Association's journal, Stroke, revealed that balance could be a key indicator of brain health

Life is all about balance 
For the study, researchers looked at 546 men and 841 women with the average age of 67 years old. The participants were asked to close their eyes and see how long they could balance on one leg. All of the subjects were given two chances to complete the challenge, and their best score was used in the final analysis. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were also employed in the research as a way to detect small vessel disease. 

According to the results, scientists determined that people who had a difficult time balancing for more than 20 seconds were more likely to have cerebral small vessel disease. This disorder includes microbleeds, or tiny hemorrhages, in addition to lacunar infarctions, which refers to tissue that is dead due to insufficient  blood supply. In total, 3 percent of people with one microbleed found it hard to balance, while 30 percent with more than two microbleeds struggled to complete the challenge. Around 5 percent of people with over two lacunar infarctions found it hard to balance, while 16 percent of subjects with one lacunar infarctions had trouble.

How long can you balance on one leg? This new study argues that the answer could reveal facts about your brain health.

Overall, researches concluded that after various factors were adjusted, people experiencing more lacunar infarctions and microbleeds had much shorter balancing times. They also scored lower on cognitive exams. Subjects above the age of 60 had a significantly harder time completing the challenge as well, which doctors attributed to the fact that small vessel disease becomes increasingly more common in older people. 

Ultimately, doctors noted that this simple test could be used as an effective way to see if people have a high risk for strokes or cognitive decline. People who have trouble successfully completing this test should consult their health care provider to do further brain disease evaluations. 

Be good to your brain 

"A variety of factors can contribute to strokes and cognitive decline, which is why it's important to lead a lifestyle that supports your brain's health."

A variety of factors can contribute to strokes and cognitive decline, which is why it's important to lead a lifestyle that supports your brain's health. According to Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure is a huge risk for stroke. Because of this, it's crucial that you exercise regularly and consume a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, an essential compound that has been shown to help improve brain function and overall wellness. 

Omega-3s can be consumed a variety of ways – they are found in foods like salmon, kale, walnuts, olive oil and berries. They can also be easily eaten through a supplement like Omax3. Today's premium supplement, Omax3 was created by doctors associated with Yale University and contains 91 percent concentrated omega-3. For maximum human performance, look no further than Omax3. 

Essential takeaways 

  • Researchers in Japan looked at elderly men and women's ability to balance on one leg and found connections between the results and overall brain health. 
  • People who found it hard to maintain balance for over 20 seconds were far more likely to have cerebral small vessel disease than those who were able to hold the stance for a longer amount of time. 
  • Once a number of factors were adjusted, doctors concluded that people with more microbleeds and lacunar infarctions had far shorter balancing times than participants with healthier brains. 
  • This simple test could be used as an easy way to indicate whether someone is at risk for brain disease or cognitive decline. 
  • Make sure to support your brain's health by exercising and eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in Omax3.