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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343881

Research Project: Nutrition, Brain, and Aging

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Age as a factor in the responsiveness of the organism to the disruption of cognitive performance by exposure to HZE particles differing in linear energy transfer

Author
item Rabin, Bernard - UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
item Carrihill-knoll, Kirsty - UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
item Miller, Marshall
item Shukitt-hale, Barbara

Submitted to: Life Sciences in Space Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/11/2017
Publication Date: 1/5/2018
Citation: Rabin, B.M., Carrihill-Knoll, K.L., Miller, M.G., Shukitt Hale, B. 2018. Age as a factor in the responsiveness of the organism to the disruption of cognitive performance by exposure to HZE particles differing in linear energy transfer. Life Sciences in Space Research. 16:84-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lssr.2017.12.001.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lssr.2017.12.001

Interpretive Summary: A series of experiments were run to evaluate the relationship between age at the time of exposure to radiation and the effectiveness of the radiation in producing changes in brain function. Young, middle-aged, and old rats were exposed to high-energy or low-energy radiation particles at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Exposure to high-energy radiation particles produced a disruption of brain performance at a lower dose in the older rats compared to the dose needed to disrupt performance in the younger rats. In contrast, exposure to low-energy radiation particles required the same dose in old animals as in young to produce a disruption of brain performance. These results indicate that the energy level of the radiation particle may be a critical factor in determining whether or not age will affect the probability of developing a brain impairment following exposure to space radiation on exploratory missions.

Technical Abstract: A series of experiments were run to further evaluate the relationship between age at the time of irradiation and the effectiveness of exposure to HZE particles in producing changes in cognitive performance. Fischer 344 (F344) rats that were 2-, 11- and 15/16-months of age were exposed to 16O, 48Ti, or 4He particles at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at Brookhaven National Laboratory. As previously observed following exposure to 56Fe particles, exposure to the higher LET 48Ti particles produced a disruption of cognitive performance at a lower dose in the older subjects compared to the dose needed to disrupt performance in the younger subjects. In contrast, age-related changes in the dose needed to produce a disruption of cognitive performance following exposure to lower LET 16O or 4He particles were not observed. These results indicate that particle LET may be a critical factor in determining whether or not age will affect the probability of developing a cognitive deficit following exposure to space radiation on exploratory class missions.