A study published in a medical journal hosted by the American Academy ofNeurology suggested men who engaged in vigorous physical activity as youngadults reduced their risk of developing epilepsy later in life. Epilepsy is a disease of the brain that cancause repeated seizures, which inhibits a person’s capability to function indaily life.
Thestudy analyzed over 1.17 million men who were given tests at age 18 thatmeasured cardiovascular fitness levels. The same men were later assessed for epilepsy at age 25, with those whohad higher levels of cardiovascular fitness showing a 79 percent reduction intheir epilepsy risk.
Theoverall portion of men with high fitness levels who developed the conditionlater in life was approximately .48 percent, versus a .62 percent risk in thosewith only a medium level of cardiovascular fitness. These results were lessened slightly aftertaking into account genetic factors as well as a history of brain injury,stroke, or diabetes.
Exercisecould potentially affect epilepsy risk in two ways: one, it could protect the brain by supportingcognitive function and the development of a stronger brain reserve, or it couldsimply be that people who are fitter and healthier earlier in life have anoverall lower risk of developing a variety of diseases.
Whateverthe reason, scientists who issued the report hoped their findings wouldencourage the population to become more active, not only to reduce the risk ofepilepsy but a range of other diseases and conditions as well.
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