By Gina LaGuardia
1 • A study shows that exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer before menopause. Washington University School of Medicine followed close to 65,000 premenopausal women for six years, and 550 of them developed breast cancer in that time. It was discovered that the most active women (those who did the equivalent of 13 hours or walking or 3.25 hours of running every week) had a 39% lower risk of breast cancer than the least active women. However, the reduction in risk for premenopausal breast cancer was not found to be associated with physical activity after the age of 35.
2 • A newly discovered brain protein sparked by endurance exercise can help improve cognitive function, particularly in older individuals, according to researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. If made in a stable form and developed into a drug, this protein could lead to improved therapies for cognitive decline in older people and slow the toll of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.