Do you ever have difficulty walking or maintaining your balance? Are you afraid of falling if you don’t have something to hold onto? Have you noticed that your stance is wider than it was? If you close your eyes, are you unable to stand without swaying or falling?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you have a balance issue which is a warning sign of compromised brain health. Three main systems govern your balance: feedback from the muscles and joints of your extremities, your vestibular system (inner ear), and your cerebellar cortex. In this post, I will direct our focus to the cerebellum.
Located at the base of the brain, this area is primarily responsible for precision, coordination and timing aspects of motor movements and cognitive processes. The health of the cerebellum is extremely important as it provides a constant flow of information to other areas of the brain, which is vital for proper brain function.
When cerebellar function begins to decline we see problems in our balance, changes in cognitive and motor performance, and disturbances in other body functions. This also disrupts the constant flow of information from this area to other brain regions. This can, in turn, cause problems in other areas of the brain leading to seemingly unrelated symptoms, including anxiety, fatigue, restless leg syndrome, movement disorders, depression, and many other conditions.
Therefore, changes in balance and coordination of movement are carefully evaluated by a healthcare professional. Recognizing these potential signs of poor brain function may help find and stop long-term neurodegenerative conditions down the road.
Dr. Joseph M. Little
August 30, 2017
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060