If you've started to worry whether you're likely to suffer from dementia or a stroke in the years ahead, try standing on one leg for 20 seconds. If you can, there's a good chance you will be fine.
People who struggle to stay balanced are more likely to have suffered small blood vessel damage in the brain that increases the chances of cognitive decline and stroke.
More than 1,300 men and women-with an average age of 67-carried out the 20-second test, and 34 per cent of those who couldn't manage it had unknowingly suffered two or more 'silent stroke' lesions, and 30 per cent had two or more microbleed lesions in the brain.
Although the participants weren't experiencing any signs of cognitive decline, researchers from the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine say the damage indicates that they are more likely to suffer dementia, cognitive decline or a stroke in the years ahead-although it's far from certain they will. Instead, it's an indicator, and one that needs to be carefully monitored.
(Source: Stroke, December 2014; doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.006704)