Regular and strenous exercises increases risk of Motor Neurone disease
According to a new study, regular and vigorous exercise raises the risk of motor neuron disease in persons who are genetically sensitive.
Scientists from the University of Sheffield, who conducted the research, warned people not to quit exercising, but said they hoped the findings will lead to new ways of identifying people who are at higher risk and providing targeted guidance.
According to the study, one out of every 300 persons will get motor neuron disease.
MND is a disease in which the motor neurones that transmit messages from the brain to the muscles deteriorate, affecting people’s ability to move, speak, and even breathe. People’s lives are cut short as a result of the sickness.
The disease is caused by a mixture of genetics and environmental variables that accumulate over time, but scientists now believe there is a link between exercise and the condition, however whether this is a genuine “cause” or merely a “coincidence” is a point of contention.
Dr. Johnathan Cooper-Knock, one of the researchers, said, “We have persuasively suggested exercise is a risk factor for motor neuron disease.”
The researchers looked at information from the UK Biobank project, which contains precise genetic samples from half a million people.
They turned that data into an experiment using a technique called Mendelian randomization, and discovered that persons whose DNA makes them more prone to engage in vigorous activities are more likely to get MND.
Exercising for more than 15-30 minutes on more than 2-3 days per week was considered as strenuous and regular. However, it is clear that the majority of people who exercise so much do not get motor neuron disease.
Prof Dame Pamela Shaw, director of Sheffield’s Neuroscience Institute, said:
The researchers suspect that low oxygen levels in the body during vigorous activity may be causing oxidative stress in the motor neurones, which are the body’s largest and most oxygen-demanding cells.