Internet brain games aren’t the only way to gauge what’s going on between your ears. A simple physical test may be able to tell you how healthy your brain is, according to a new study from Japan, published in the journal Stroke.
In the study, researchers had 1,387 healthy people stand on one leg with their eyes open for as long as possible, up to a minute. Then they performed MRI’s on the subjects, whose average age was 67, and had them complete four cognitive tests.
Interestingly, the length of time the people could balance predicted what the scientists saw on the brain scans: Those who were unable to stand flamingo-style for more than 20 seconds were more likely to have cerebral small vessel disease, a condition where tiny blood vessels deep in the brain are damaged. None of the study participants showed any symptoms.
Source: How healthy is your brain? Take this test to find out
Just another reason to be self-conscious in yoga class… But seriously consider the following:
Flunk the test? Ask your doctor if you should be concerned, and take a proactive approach to brain health. “People say, ‘What can I do to keep from getting Alzheimer’s? What can I do to prevent stroke? If it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain,” says Senelick. “Work on your risk factors: hypertension, diabetes, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking.”