Researchers from URMC in cooperation with the NASA Space Radiation Lab at Brookhaven exposed double transgenic mice ( with APP and Presenilin mutations), that were destined to develop Alzheimer's pathological changes anyway, to Iron-56. Six months after 10 and 100 cGy radiation at 1GeV/u the mice displayed impairment on behavioral studies. After sacrifice, there was evidence of accelerated beta amyloid deposition.
This is the first study to demonstrate that HZE particle radiation can increase beta amyloid plaque pathology.
Studies are underway with normal mice to see if the effects can be duplicated.
PLoS One 2012;7(12):e53275. E-pub 2012 Dec 31