Space travel 'ups risk of Alzheimer’s'

Astronauts bound for Mars will be exposed to galactic radiation that could cause Alzheimer's disease, researchers warn.

Experiments on mice in NASA's Space Radiation Laboratory found that exposure to radiation typical of deep space led to increased levels of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, a hallmark for Alzheimer's.

The warning comes as NASA prepares to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s — estimated to be a two-year voyage — and to an asteroid by 2025.

Writing in PLos ONE (online) late last month, the authors said the findings were "particularly concerning" for astronauts because they would be exposed to heightened levels of galactic radiation as they left Earth's protective magnetic field for such voyages.

"The doses used in