Space Brain

2015-0505 Picture from International Space Station
Picture from the International Space Station

Excerpt of Article by Dana Dovey | Medical Daily

A recent study may have thrown a serious wrench into potential space travel aspirations. Apparently, all those cosmic rays are seriously hazardous to brain health and can cause permanent cognition impairments. As the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to send astronauts on a long-term journey to Mars as early as the 2030s, this is a factor that astronauts will need to take into consideration.

At the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, Charles Limoli, a professor of radiation oncology from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, and his team tested the effect of deep space conditions.

Results showed that the charged particles had serious and long-lasting effects. Firstly, the exposure caused inflammation in the brain, which disrupted the transmission of signals among neurons. Also, brain images revealed there were physical changes to the central nervous system, with reductions in the structure of dendrite nerve cells and the spine. This caused disruptions in the brain’s communication network.

Scientists are beginning to learn just how dangerous space travel will be to the human body. However, while the physical effect of space on the body may be deadly, that does not mean space travel is completely impossible.

Credits

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Thanks to Dana Dovey for writing the article; Medical Daily for committing its resources to publishing the article; Google for helping me find the article; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text used in this post.

2 Comments

  1. Good article ,there should be preventive tech.for the people who go to Nasa.or start to research to protective ideas from the rays.

    1. The space suits supposedly offer the necessary shielding, but there seems to be some disagreement. One proposal is a different thickness or type of metal for the space capsule.

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