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by ibgames

EARTHDATE: June 17, 2018

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by Hazed

Vigorous physical exercise has been linked to an increased risk of developing ALS – and nobody knows why.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is the condition that affected the late Stephen Hawking. Scientists don’t know much about what causes the fatal disease, but now it seems that intense physical activity may be a risk factor to be aware of.

Neurologist Leonard van den Berg from the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands said, “We observed a linear association, which means that the risk appeared to increase with each increase in exercise level.”

His team investigated the lifestyles of over 1,500 adults who had been diagnosed with ALS in Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands. Their data included information on their physical activity levels over their lifetime, as well as their gender, vocational attainment, employment history, smoking habits and alcohol intake.

The data from these ALS patients was compared with a control group of almost 3,000 healthy participants whose demographics were matched as closely as possible to the ALS participants.

When all the other factors were accounted for, physical activity levels stood out as a statistically significant risk factor affecting people’s likelihood of developing the disease. The average heightened risk for physical activity in leisure time was 7 percent, and 6 percent for occupational physical activity, with the association being most evident in the Irish and Italian cohorts.

The researchers caution that this data relied on participants’ self-reporting and powers of memory, so we can’t assume a direct cause – remember that correlation does not equal causation. However, this definitely warrants further investigation.

Source: https://www.sciencealert.com/vigorous-physical-activity-linked-to-increased-risk-of-developing-als-amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-mnd

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