Radiation might affect astronauts' memory temporarily: study

The gamma-ray radiation and low-dose neutron do not impact memory.


While several space agencies are poised to launch more and more space missions and explore new dimensions of our solar system, a team of Russian astronomers has found that space radiation might temporarily affect astronauts' memory.

Radiation might affect astronauts' memory temporarily: study


The researchers for the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), however, understood that gamma-ray radiation and low-dose neutron do not impact the rodents' intellectual capabilities, reports Sputnik news agency.

This also means that the mental capabilities of the mice were unaffected by the radiation, with memorization occurring as normal and the rodents acting similar to the non-irradiated control group.

Both groups "showed no differences in terms of exploratory behavior or anxiety, six weeks after the irradiation," with their "ability to form hippocampus-dependent memory also unaffected," states the study.

"We are not asserting that the behavior and memory of irradiated mice remained completely unaffected," said Alexander Lazutkin, a senior research scientist, cites Sputnik.

"The data on other types of radiation suggests that despite the apparent preservation of memories, its individual fine components may suffer. That means our work is just the beginning of this kind of research," he said.

The new study enhances the scientific knowledge of the types of neutrons produced in the atmosphere or inside a spacecraft during their atoms' reaction with cosmic rays, the researchers said.

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