Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Astronauts Risk Alzheimer's From Long Missions?

Space Travel May Be Harmful to the Brain, Study Suggests; Prolonged Cosmic Radiation Exposure Could Hasten Alzheimer's

Dec. 31, 2012 — As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study out today in the journal PLOS ONE shows that cosmic radiation -- which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars -- could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer's disease.


Artist's concept of human mission to Mars. (Credit: NASA/Pat Rawlings, SAIC)
"Galactic cosmic radiation poses a significant threat to future astronauts," said M. Kerry O'Banion, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy and the senior author of the study. "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."

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121231180632.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fspace_time+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Space+%26+Time+News%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

Sources: University of Rochester Medical Center, ScienceDaily.com .

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