Space travel may cause Alzheimer's
"To infinity…and beyond!" Unfortunately, Buzz Lightyear may not have considered the long-term health consequences of space travel in his ambitious endorsement. A new study from the University of Rochester has found that deep space exploration exposes people to cosmic radiation, which could be harmful to the brain, eventually causing Alzheimer's disease.
While it has long been understood, apparently, that exposure to cosmic forces could increase the risk of cancer or other conditions, this is the first study of its kind to show a link between space travel and Alzheimer's. According to the researchers, space is full of radiation, but Earthlings are protected by the magnetic field that surrounds our planet. However, as people travel outside this magnetic field, they are exposed to dangerous cosmic radiation.
The damage caused by radiation comes with prolonged exposure, meaning that longer trips in space – such as to Mars – could lead to an even greater likelihood of developing dementia.