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Health & FitA mission to Mars could cause learning impairment and anxiety, study says

20:05  06 august  2019
20:05  06 august  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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On a long-term spaceflight mission to Mars , astronauts will be continuously exposed to low-dose A new study found that this exposure can cause impairments in the brains of mice, resulting in Mars mission astronauts could experience brain damage, study says . This study now shows that

A new study found that this exposure can cause impairments in the brains of mice, resulting in learning and memory issues as well as anxiety . Based on their findings, the researchers believe that one out of five astronauts on a deep space mission would likely experience anxiety .

On a long-term spaceflight mission to Mars, astronauts will be continuously exposed to low-dose radiation in deep space. A new study found that this exposure can cause impairments in the brains of mice, resulting in learning and memory issues as well as anxiety.

A mission to Mars could cause learning impairment and anxiety, study says© NASA On Dec. 24, 2013, NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer, participates in the second of two spacewalks, spread over a four-day period, which were designed to allow the crew to change out a degraded pump module on the exterior of the Earth-orbiting International Space Station. He was joined on both spacewalks by NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, whose image shows up in Hopkins' helmet visor. The pump module controls the flow of ammonia through cooling loops and radiators outside the space station, and, combined with water-based cooling loops inside the station, removes excess heat into the vacuum of space. Image Credit: NASA

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A new study found that this exposure can cause impairments in the brains of mice, resulting in learning and memory issues as well as anxiety . NEW YORK (CNN) — On a long-term spaceflight mission to Mars , astronauts will be continuously exposed to low-dose radiation in deep space.

This new study suggests that long-term spaceflight can permanently cause changes in brain volume and deform the pituitary gland. A mission to Mars could cause learning impairment and anxiety , study says . Researchers are also trying to find countermeasures to combat the fluid shift and head

The study was published Monday in the journal eNeuro.

Previous studies looking at the effect of radiation on the brain have used shorter rates of exposure but higher doses of radiation, which the researchers of the new study say inaccurately reflects deep space conditions.

This study now shows that radiation delivered at space relevant dose rates (i.e. 1 mGy/day) over extended ties ( 6 months) elicits adverse neurocognitive effects - similar to our past studies using dose rates ~ 400 times higher.

In the new study, male mice were exposed to chronic low-dose radiation for six months. After six months had passed, the researchers found that signaling in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus was impaired by the radiation.

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Astronauts going to Mars in the next two decades may suffer from mental health problems such as memory loss The study , which was published on a website called eNeuro Monday, revealed that Regular exposure to radiation also causes deterioration in the amygdala, — a section of the brain that

Going to Mars could be bad for astronauts’ brains, a new study using rodents has found. "Deficits in fear extinction could make you prone to anxiety ," Limoli said in the statement, "which could “The Mars mission will result in an inevitable exposure to cosmic radiation that has been shown to cause

This created impairments in both memory and learning for the mice.

The researchers also observed behaviors indicating anxiety in the mice, which led them to believe that the radiation also affected the amygdala.

"This study now shows that radiation delivered at space relevant dose rates over extended times elicits adverse neurocognitive effects similar to our past studied using dose rates that were about 400 times higher," said Charlies Limoli, study author and professor of radiation oncology at the University of California, Irvine.

Based on their findings, the researchers believe that one out of five astronauts on a deep space mission would likely experienced anxiety. One in three would be more likely to deal with memory issues. And all of them may struggle when it comes to making decisions, which would be crucial on a mission to Mars where communications with the Earth are delayed by up to 20 minutes.

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Astronauts on missions to Mars will be at risk of 'significant' brain damage due to the effects of microgravity It's not just space junk and cosmic rays astronauts have to contend with on a mission to Mars . To describe the symptoms, Nasa coined the term visual impairment intracranial pressure

Mission to mars . Charles first learnt about the simulated space mission from a (7) (website add, website advertisement) he saw. Charles was most concerned about the lack of (8) (the sun, sun) inside the simulated space capsule. The layout of the spaceship included a dining area that was (9) (oval)

The research highlights the need for safety measures to protect astronauts undergoing long-term spaceflight. Currently, astronauts on the International Space Station aren't exposed to much radiation because the station is in the protective habitat of low-Earth orbit. Outside of that orbit, the exposure to radiation will only increase.

"NASA is working one more advanced shielding approaches for protecting astronauts and we along with other groups are working on pharmacologic countermeasures for protecting the brain and body from the harmful effects of space radiation exposure," Limoli said.

But Limoli and his team aren't concerned about the potential for these impairments and behaviors during future missions.

"I'd be more concerned if we went into space not knowing what the potential adverse consequences are for astronauts," Limoli said. "This is not a deal breaker. The radiation problem is however, perhaps one of the biggest problems we will have to solve for travel beyond our solar system - where the total doses and times of exposure will be greatly magnified."

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Next, Limoli and his team will try to develop countermeasures for this observed impairment and replicate these studies in female mice with more focus on the basis of the neurocognitive effects, Limoli said.

Previously, Limoli and his colleagues have published research about the potential for brain damage that astronauts on long-term spaceflight through deep space may experience. And there are other studies that suggest that long-term spaceflight actually "squeezes" the brain.

Earlier this year, the results of the NASA Twins Study showed that a year in space created reduced cognitive abilities in astronaut Sott kelly.

A mission to Mars could cause learning impairment and anxiety, study says© ESA/Getty Images Europe IN SPACE - JULY 17: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) on July 17, 2014, German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst took this image of the Earth reflecting light from the sun whilst aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Gerst returned to earth on November 10, 2014 after spending six months on the International Space Station completing an extensive scientific programme, known as the 'Blue Dot' mission (after astronomer Carl Sagan's description of Earth, as seen on a photograph taken by the Voyager probe from six billion kilometres away). (Photo by Alexander Gerst / ESA via Getty Images)
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