According to one study, frequent strenuous exercise increases the risk of motor neuron disease (MND) in people who are genetically predisposed to develop the condition.
Researchers say the pioneering work is an important step in understanding the relationship between high levels of disease physical activity and the development of neurodegenerative disease.
MND or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord that connect the nervous system and muscles to allow the body to move.
The Messages from these nerves gradually fail to reach the muscles, causing them to weaken, stiffen and eventually fade.
A number of high profile British athletes have shared their experiences with MND in recent years, including Rob Burrow of the Rugby League, Doddie Weir of the Rugby Union and the footballer Stephen Darby
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