Space as a proxy for the ageing brain

Can cosmic radiation and microgravity offer useful insights on neurodegeneration?

Long-duration spaceflight missions appear to accelerate ageing of astronauts’ brains and might offer useful insight into neurodegenerative processes, researchers say.


A group from Harvard Medical School and the NASA Ames Research Centre, US, say that during long missions, astronauts are exposed to risk factors known to induce profound changes of brain structure and function — but the long-term effects are not known.

In a JAMA Neurology commentary, the authors say NASA is researching the effects of microgravity and galactic cosmic radiation, which appear to have similar