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Check Your Balance, Check your Brain

Brain Degeneration associated with Weak Posture and Balance

Monitoring silent micro-strokes is another reason to benchmark your balance, according to a new study published in the journal Stroke.

Japanese researchers conducted brain MRIs of 1,400 men and women, average age 67, and found increased stroke risk and small brain bleeds for people who couldn’t balance on one leg for 20 seconds.1 These small strokes are associated with walking difficulties and falls, and can also be a big factor in mental decline and even dementia, according to Dr. Richard Libman, chief of vascular neurology at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y.2

Their Conclusion:  “Postural instability was found to be associated with early pathological changes in the brain and functional decline, even in apparently healthy subjects.”

StrongPosture® BAM (Balance-Alignment-Motion) exercise benefit:  In addition to improving function, regular balance exercise can show otherwise invisible changes in postural stability.

Weiniger’s Conjecture:  Strengthening balance may also help the cognitive and memory breakdown shown to go along with balance problems in aging populations.

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1  Tabara, Y., Okada, Y., Ohara, M., Uetani, E., Kido, T., Ochi, N., . . . Kohara, K. (2015).  “Association of postural instability with asymptomatic cerebrovascular damage and cognitive decline: The Japan Shimanami Health Promoting Program Study.”  Stroke; A Journal of Cerebral Circulation, 46(1), 16-22. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.006704. Retrieved from http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2014/12/18/STROKEAHA.114.006704.abstract

2  Reinberg, Steven (Dec 2014).  “Can You Balance on One Leg for 20 Seconds?”  HealthDay News.  Retrieved from http://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/simple-balance-test-might-predict-your-stroke-risk-694808.html 

 

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