Study: Prolonged Exposure to Galactic Radiation Speeds Up Alzheimer's Development
January 1, 2013 7:11 PM
comment(s) - last by
Radiation called high-mass, high-charged particles (HZE) are capable of penetrating a spacecraft and causing the early onset of Alzheimer's disease
A new study shows that extended
exposure to cosmic radiation
in space can negatively affect astronauts' brains.
A team of researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center, led by M. Kerry O'Banion, found that a specific type of radiation called high-mass, high-charged particles (HZE) are capable of penetrating a spacecraft and causing the early onset of Alzheimer's disease.
NASA and other researchers have studied the effects of long-term space travel on astronauts for years, and found that
galactic cosmic radiation
caused cancer, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular diseases. However, this is the first study to show effects on the brain in regards to neurodegeneration.
HZE particles are propelled through space at very high speeds thanks to exploding stars, and come in a variety of forms. In this particular study, the researchers looked at iron particles because they, like HZE particles, have a mass and speed that allow them to enter solid objects.
The researchers then used particle accelerators to reproduce radioactive particles located in space. From there, animal models with Alzheimer's disease were exposed to different doses of the radiation. They even used levels comparable to a
mission to Mars
According to the results, the brains of the mice exposed to the radiation had vascular alterations and an abnormal accumulation of beta amyloid, which is a sign of Alzheimer's disease.
Also, the mice exposed to radiation were more likely to fail memory tests more often and earlier than mice who were not.
"Galactic cosmic radiation poses a significant threat to future astronauts," said O'Banion. "The possibility that radiation exposure in space may give rise to health problems such as cancer has long been recognized. However, this study shows for the first time that exposure to radiation levels equivalent to a mission to Mars could produce cognitive problems and speed up changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
damnit jim, i'm a doctor!
1/1/2013 9:43:47 PM
so that's why captain kirk had to pause in between words all the time... he was trying to remember his lines.
RE: damnit jim, i'm a doctor!
1/2/2013 9:28:15 AM
Hollywood better take notice of this and stop launching geezer actors into space in their movies...! :P
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
Richard Branson Wants to Start A Population on Mars
September 21, 2012, 12:01 AM
More Investigation on Space Radiation
April 17, 2008, 9:13 AM
Cosmic Radiation Under Investigation
April 15, 2008, 8:49 AM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information