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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)
Radiation induced genomic instability is a well-studied phenomenon, the underlying mechanisms of which are poorly understood. Persistent oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, elevated cytokine levels and epigenetic changes are among the mechanisms invoked in the perpetuation of the phenotype. To determine whether epigenetic aberrations affect genomic(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)
Radiation and drug resistance are significant challenges in the treatment of locally advanced, recurrent and metastatic breast cancer that contribute to mortality. Clinically, radiotherapy requires oxygen to generate cytotoxic free radicals that cause DNA damage and allow that damage to become fixed in the genome rather than repaired. However, approximately(More)
Among the dangers to astronauts engaging in deep space missions such as a Mars expedition is exposure to radiations that put them at risk for severe cognitive dysfunction. These radiation-induced cognitive impairments are accompanied by functional and structural changes including oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and degradation of neuronal architecture.(More)
The Mars mission will result in an inevitable exposure to cosmic radiation that has been shown to cause cognitive impairments in rodent models, and possibly in astronauts engaged in deep space travel. Of particular concern is the potential for cosmic radiation exposure to compromise critical decision making during normal operations or under emergency(More)
Clinical radiation therapy for the treatment of CNS cancers leads to unintended and debilitating impairments in cognition. Radiation-induced cognitive dysfunction is long lasting; however, the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms are still not well established. Since ionizing radiation causes microglial and astroglial activation, we hypothesized(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)
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