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Radiation exposure may accelerate onset of Alzheimer's disease
Posted: Wed, Jan 2, 2013, 6:45 AM ET (1145 GMT)
Exposure to high-energy cosmic radiation on deep space missions could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer's disease and have other effects on the brain, scientists reported this week. Researchers exposed mice to levels of radiation similar to what astronauts would receive on a multi-year mission to Mars and then studied the effect the radiation had on the brain. They found an increased accumulation of beta amyloid, a protein "plaque" associated with Alzheimer's. The mice also showed signs of neurological impairment after exposure to the radiation. Scientists cautioned that the way the text was carried out, by giving mice a multi-year radiation dose in just a few minutes, could have exacerbated the effects of the radiation.
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