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Every runner knows that pounding the pavement clears the mind. But a new study suggests that endurance exercise can support brain function as well. Research led by Justin S. Rhodes, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, found that running may counteract the brain decay associated with aging. Starting in our late 20s, adults begin to lose 1 percent of volume in the hippocampus, the area of the brain most related to memory, each year. Regular exercise may help to prevent hippocampus reduction while counteracting risks of the Alzheimer’s gene.