For Thursday, Sept. 14, WGN’s Dina Bair has new medical information, including:

Physically demanding jobs associated with risk for cognitive impairment

While exercise helps both the mind and body, Columbia University doctors say consistently working in jobs with high physical demands is associated with a risk for cognitive impairment.  

They examined more than 7,000 men and women diagnosed with dementia and cognitive impairment at age 70. Then researchers probed their careers from 33 to 65.

Researchers found a higher incidence of mind-robbing illnesses in people who were pushed physically every day at work. 

Experts say the results of their study point to the need to develop strategies to protect people in physically demanding careers. 

Early detection of breast cancer through breast milk

Breast cancer is found in breast milk.  

Breast milk from breast cancer patients diagnosed during pregnancy or postpartum contains circulating tumor DNA. 

The young women would not typically be screened for breast cancer. 

The journal, Cancer Discovery, reports on the finding which came about accidentally when patients expressed concern about transmitting their disease to their newborns. 

Now experts say the discovery could be used in the future to diagnose breast cancer at earlier stages when treatment is most effective.  

Nasal immunotherapy could help with Alzheimer’s disease symptoms

One way to slow the ravages in the brain may be through the nose. 

Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers found evidence nasal immunotherapy may help quell symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Current Alzheimer’s therapies target the buildup of plaques on the brain. 

Instead, researchers tested an MS therapy that reduces immune cell inflammation in the brain. 

They say their early trials show that nasal immunotherapy could also have a positive effect on Alzheimer’s patients, reducing inflammation and improving cognitive function independently of amyloid plaques. 

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