Astronauts heading to Mars could risk "space brain"

Will astronauts heading to Mars be putting their own brain health at risk? A new study out of the University of California, Irvine found that exposure to highly energetic charged particles similar to those that hit astronauts on long space trips led to brain damage in test rodents. The damage included dementia and other cognitive impairments

The study was published in Nature’s journal Scientific Reports. 


Study leader Charles Limoli, UCI professor of radiation oncology.

Steve Zylius / UCI

“This is not positive news for astronauts deployed on a two-to-three-year round trip to Mars,” Charles Limoli, a professor of radiation oncology in UCI’s School of Medicine, said in a press release. “The space environment poses unique hazards to astronauts. Exposure to these particles…

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