Alzheimer's disease, a new risk to astronauts?
Posted: January 5, 2013 11:54 AM PST
A medical study found that eight of the space radiation can accelerate the development of Alzheimer's disease. This is yet another risk factor to the health of astronauts that will take into account the space agencies are planning manned missions in the solar system. Stressing that cosmic radiation could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer's disease, a new medical study reaffirms the danger of manned space travel. As said Kerry O'Banion, PhD in medical sciences, professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center and lead author of the study published in the journal Plos One, "this study shows for the first time that exposure to radiation levels equivalent to a mission to Mars could cause cognitive problems and accelerate changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease "
Studies on the health of astronauts all show that there is a certain risk of contracting diseases see long term or short term during extended stays in space. That said, it does not seem to discourage volunteers to space travel. © NASA Johnson Space Center If the magnetic field protects the Earth and astronauts in the Space Station activity of space radiation, space bathed in a constant flow of a wide variety of radioactive particles. If it is possible to protect some of them, there are forms of radiation that can not be effectively blocked. This is obviously a serious concern for space agencies planning manned missions, which in the case of a trip to Mars could take up to three years. Man is he to leave Earth? With studies both in the United States than in Russia or Europe, researchers are aware of the dangers of cosmic radiation on the health of astronauts. Thus, traveling through space, you take the risk of developing health problems such as long-term cancer, diseases of aging or cardiovascular or aging, and short-term illnesses such as musculoskeletal problems or immune system disorders. In addition, there is a new study reveals for the first time a relationship of cause and effect on the development of Alzheimer's disease. This work has focused on the impact of a particular form of radiation associated with particles of high mass and high charge (HZE particles). The mass of these particles in space propelled to high speeds by the force of the explosions of stars combined with their speed, can penetrate solid objects such as walls or shielding of spacecraft. Through this study, the researchers specifically wanted to examine whether exposure to radiation has "the potential to accelerate certain biological indicators of cognitive and Alzheimer's disease, especially in people who may be prone to develop. " Mice were exposed to different doses of radiation, especially at levels comparable to those that would be faced by astronauts. It shows that mice exposed and are more prone to develop biological processes in the brain that contribute to the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Their brains also shows signs of vascular changes and a greater accumulation of beta-amyloid protein, a characteristic of the disease. Source: www.futura-sciences.com