How about a brain physical?



Posted on May 17, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:19 AM

Andra King's job in commercial real estate is non-stop.

"For me, hoping to find any way to be more productive in the workplace," she said.

So she went to the University of Texas Center for Brain Health for a two-hour brain physical.

The test measures cognitive brain function, reasoning and mental flexibility.

Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman says they're finding that people are burning out their brains by multi-tasking.

"We actually start to see this type of mental function decline in our 30's and 40's because people go to more automatic levels of processing information - just information in, information out," said Dr. Chapman.

The brain physical gives recommendations.

Andra now lists her top three tasks each day and works on each for 30 minutes without distractions. She turns off her e-mail notification at certain points in the day and makes bullet points for meetings to decrease rambling.

"There were some parts that were big reminders of how you lack in certain areas of thinking, or some areas aren't as strong, but there are ways to improve those areas," she said.

The brain physical can also point to future health problems.

"These measures are actually very sensitive to pre-clinical stages of Alzheimer's," said Dr. Chapman.

Andra has a family history of stroke. Her brain physical did not reveal indicators, but it did set a benchmark so doctors can watch her brain as she ages.

The brain physical offered by the University of Texas at Dallas costs $600.

But there are free tests you can take on line to measure your mental fitness and ability to multi-task.

More information

Center for Brain Health

My Fit Brain

Test your multitasking ability