Missions into space increase the risk of Alzheimer’s?


A previous study mentioned that there are many diseases that can attack space travelers. Other recent studies are now stating that the mission into space also increases the risk of long-term Alzheimer’s disease.

As reported by The Daily News, NASA researchers reported in the PLoS ONE journal study found evidence that space travel is dangerous to the health of the brain.

The eight-year study claims that cosmic radiation of astronauts could increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

NASA research team at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, specifically mentions a three-year mission to Mars is associated with brain cognitive impairment in astronauts.

“Galactic cosmic radiation triggers a dangerous threat to the future of our astronauts,” said Dr. M. Kerry O’Banion, a senior researcher from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The study actually uses laboratory rats fed with cosmic radiation, just like what the astronauts felt when on a mission trip to outer space, especially the planet Mars. As a result, some of the rats showed decreased in cognitive ability that is a symptom of Alzheimer’s.

“This is another example of how the environment can trigger disease by damaging the system of the human body,” said O’Banion.

While these studies have discussed health hazards due to astronauts mission traveling into space, but NASA seems to be still far away from a method to send a team to go to planet Mars.