Barrett D. Allen

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As NASA prepares for the first manned spaceflight to Mars, questions have surfaced concerning the potential for increased risks associated with exposure to the spectrum of highly energetic nuclei that comprise galactic cosmic rays. Animal models have revealed an unexpected sensitivity of mature neurons in the brain to charged particles found in space.(More)
AIMS Radiation-induced disruption of mitochondrial function can elevate oxidative stress and contribute to the metabolic perturbations believed to compromise the functionality of the central nervous system. To clarify the role of mitochondrial oxidative stress in mediating the adverse effects of radiation in the brain, we analyzed transgenic (mitochondrial(More)
Chemokines and their receptors play a crucial role in normal brain function as well as in pathological conditions such as injury and disease-associated neuroinflammation. Chemokine receptor-2 (CCR2), which mediates the recruitment of infiltrating and resident microglia to sites of central nervous system (CNS) inflammation, is upregulated by ionizing(More)
Therapeutic irradiation of the brain is a common treatment modality for brain tumors, but can lead to impairment of cognitive function. Dendritic spines are sites of excitatory synaptic transmission and changes in spine structure and number are thought to represent a morphological correlate of altered brain functions associated with hippocampal dependent(More)
Cranial irradiation for the treatment of brain cancer elicits progressive and severe cognitive dysfunction that is associated with significant neuropathology. Radiation injury in the CNS has been linked to persistent microglial activation, and we find upregulation of pro-inflammatory genes even 6 weeks after irradiation. We hypothesize that depletion of(More)
Exposure to the space radiation environment poses risks for a range of deleterious health effects due to the unique types of radiation encountered. Galactic cosmic rays are comprised of a spectrum of highly energetic nuclei that deposit densely ionizing tracks of damage along the particle trajectory. These tracks are distinct from those generated by the(More)
The space radiation environment contains protons and (56)Fe, which could pose a significant hazard to space flight crews during and after missions. The space environment involves complex radiation exposures, thus, the effects of a dose of protons might be modulated by a dose of heavy-ion radiation. The brain, and particularly the hippocampus, may be(More)
PURPOSE Uncontrolled radiation exposure due to radiological terrorism, industrial accidents or military circumstances is a continuing threat for the civilian population. Age plays a major role in the susceptibility to radiation; younger children are at higher risk of developing cognitive deterioration when compared to adults. Our objective was to determine(More)
The space radiation environment consists of multiple species of high-energy charge particles (HZE), including (56)Fe and (28)Si nuclei, that may impact neuronal cells, but their damaging effects on the central nervous system (CNS) have been poorly defined. Hippocampus-dependent memory functions have been shown to be highly sensitive to (56)Fe HZE particles,(More)
Cancer survivors face a variety of challenges as they cope with disease recurrence and a myriad of normal tissue complications brought on by radio- and chemotherapeutic treatment regimens. For patients subjected to cranial irradiation for the control of CNS malignancy, progressive and debilitating cognitive dysfunction remains a pressing unmet medical need.(More)