Exercise 'damaging to women's cognition'

Exercise 'damaging to women's cognition'

Women who exercise often could be unwittingly damaging their cognitive function in later life, scientists say.

The New Scientist reports that researchers from the University of Toronto found that women who regularly take strenuous exercise could be harming their cognitive function in later life.

This study, which is to be published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, pointed out that rigorous exercise is known to reduce oestrogen levels in women and girls, potentially delaying the start of menstruation increasing the chance of irregular periods.

In addition, low levels of oestrogen in premenopausal women are associated with impaired mental function in later life.

Mary Tierney at the University of Toronto, Canada surveyed a selection of healthy post-menopausal women on their life-long exercise habits and assessed their cognitive function.

Results showed a significant decrease in performance in various cognitive tasks in women who claimed to exercise strenuously to those who did not.

Meanwhile, scientists from Scripps Research Institute have developed a new technique for detecting Alzheimer's involving markets in the blood.

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