Mars-bound astronauts face chronic dementia risk

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Plazma Inferno!, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Will astronauts traveling to Mars remember much of it? That’s the question concerning University of California, Irvine scientists probing a phenomenon called "space brain."
    UCI’s Charles Limoli and colleagues found that exposure to highly energetic charged particles – much like those found in the galactic cosmic rays that will bombard astronauts during extended spaceflights – causes significant long-term brain damage in test rodents, resulting in cognitive impairments and dementia.
    Their study follows one last year showing somewhat shorter-term brain effects of galactic cosmic rays.
    The findings are not positive news for astronauts deployed on a two-to-three-year round trip to Mars. The space environment poses unique hazards to astronauts. Exposure to these particles can lead to a range of potential central nervous system complications that can occur during and persist long after actual space travel – such as various performance decrements, memory deficits, anxiety, depression and impaired decision-making. Many of these adverse consequences to cognition may continue and progress throughout life.
    For the study, rodents were subjected to charged particle irradiation (fully ionized oxygen and titanium) at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at New York’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and then sent to Limoli’s UCI lab.
    Six months after exposure, the researchers still found significant levels of brain inflammation and damage to neurons. Imaging revealed that the brain’s neural network was impaired through the reduction of dendrites and spines on these neurons, which disrupts the transmission of signals among brain cells. These deficiencies were parallel to poor performance on behavioral tasks designed to test learning and memory.

    https://news.uci.edu/research/mars-...entia-risk-from-galactic-cosmic-ray-exposure/

    Study: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep34774
     
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  3. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Since the experts have knowledge of the problem, I expect that will be able to find a solution.

    Shielding the entire human body might not be possible. Perhaps shielding of the brain is sufficient.
     
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  5. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    All you dreamer you better stay home.
     
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  7. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    If the dreamers of this world stopped dreaming, you would still be swinging in the trees like your cousins.
     
  8. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    When you pass 85 years old you will be like the cousin swinging on the tree
     
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Why do you participate in the sciences timijon, as obviously you do not care for it and always have something stupid to say about it? Shame actually, you could otherwise be rather a bright lad.

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    Again though, since I am in the habit of helping those less fortunate than myself....
    Man will find many difficulties in our inevitable venture to Mars and beyond...
    In any of Man's adventures/exploration expeditions in the past, that has always been the case...from climbing Mnt Everest, to colonising the America's and Australia. It will happen with or without you: You need to accept that.
    Perhaps you should make yourself comfy in your little tree, and let those that have the proper get up and go, do the exploring and colonising for you, and advancing technology for your comfort.
    You have a good day!

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  10. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Dispense them some fluoroquinone antibiotics and then they will have anxiety, tendinitis, aortic dissection and tachycardia to go with their depression.

    I don't think the science of medicine is up to the trip, especially since humans must be their own guinea pigs for new drugs, and this is already not working. 20th century medicine that got us to the moon and back was better. Rely on someone to dispense anti-depressants to solve the problem.
     
  11. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    it's long been known that high-Z, high E cosmic radiation causes extensive ionization damage. in particular, as the particle stops, the ionization increases as the inverse-square of the speed. this is comparable to the recoil-nucleus for alpha emission, in which the recoil nucleus, even though having much less energy than the alpha particle, carries sufficient energy for a few Angstroms of travel to cause significant ionization damage as it comes to rest.
     
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  12. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    I've suffered temporary memory loss from being gamma irradiated as part of treatment for Hodgkin's. Eventually, memories returned, but it took a while. The memory loss was more than sufficient, if a little more extensive, to be lethal or permanently debilitating. The treatment was 3 rads total cumulative, upper thorax. The shot through the upper throat and part of the cerebellum was the most damaging mentally.

    Wear lead-lined helmets.
     

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