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Long Space Flights Cause Permanent Brain Damage

Spending extended time in space wreaks havoc on the body. You lose bone density. Your muscles waste away. And according to a new study published Monday in the journal Scientific Reports, you also may get "space brain," a form of brain damage caused by galactic cosmic ray radiation -- and it could be a barrier in the pursuit of colonizing Mars. In a preclinical rodent study performed by Charles Limoli and his team at the University of California, Irvine, researchers found that radiation exposure equivalent to the radiation experienced in space caused long-term brain damage to rodents, leaving them with cognitive impairment and dementia.
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