Loss of balance can be an early sign of brain changes and functional decline, even in healthy people.
A stroke can happen in two ways. Often, when a blood clot enters an artery in the brain, it blocks blood flow. In some cases, a clot forms inside a vein due to a rupture of a cholesterol-filled plaque.
Researchers believe that a 20-second test can reveal a lot about a person’s brain and predict stroke risk.
A study published in the journal Stroke found that those who stand on one leg for less than 20 seconds are more likely to suffer a stroke or brain damage.
The results came from a Japanese study of nearly 1,400 people.
The researchers found that people with mild cognitive impairment, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease, were prone to instability when standing on one leg.
And in 2009, researchers found in an article published in the journal Alzheimer’s Disease that abnormal balance in one leg “is a sign of more severe dementia and predicts a faster rate of cognitive decline.” What they have not yet determined is whether the poor stability is due to brain damage.
To do this, they measured time spent standing on one leg with their eyes open as a measure of postural stability on either leg. Participants were given two attempts, and the team measured the time it took to lift their leg twice, up to a maximum of 60 seconds.
The best of the two trials was used for statistical analysis. All measurements were taken from participants who were barefoot and with their hands at their sides.
The results showed that single-legged time of less than 20 seconds was “significantly associated with frank cerebral small vessel disease in healthy middle-aged to elderly subjects.”
The team also found that about a third of participants with more than two brain injuries had balance problems.
When examining patients with only one brain lesion, 16% of the participants had difficulty balancing.
Affection means that brain tissue has been damaged by injury or disease and causes a wide range of symptoms, including weakness or impairment of multiple senses.
The Cleveland Clinic explains that strokes are one of the most common causes of brain damage.
“You can often prevent a stroke, or at least delay it if you’ve already had a stroke, or reduce its severity,” she adds.
According to health authorities, some types of brain lesions heal on their own, but others may become permanent or occur for reasons that cannot be treated.
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