Effects of exposure to ¹²C and ⁴He particles on cognitive performance of intact and ovariectomized female rats
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Type of Work8 pages
journal articles postprints
Citation of Original PublicationRabin, Bernard M.; Miller, Marshall G.; Larsen, Alison; Spadafora, Christina; Zolnerowich, Nicholas N.; Dell'Acqua, Lorraine A.; Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Effects of exposure to ¹²C and ⁴He particles on cognitive performance of intact and ovariectomized female rats; Life Sciences in Space Research, Volume 22, August 2019, Pages 47-54; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214552419300616#!;
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effects of exposure to space radiation on cognitive performance
effects of estrogen on cognitive performance
Exposure to the types of radiation encountered outside the magnetic field of the earth can disrupt cognitive performance. Exploratory class missions to other planets will include both male and female astronauts. Because estrogen can function as a neuroprotectant, it is possible that female astronauts may be less affected by exposure to space radiation than male astronauts. To evaluate the effectiveness of estrogen to protect against the disruption of cognitive performance by exposure to space radiation intact and ovariectomized female rats with estradiol or vehicle implants were tested on novel object performance and operant responding on an ascending fixed-ratio reinforcement schedule following exposure to ¹²C (290 MeV/n) or ⁴He (300 MeV/n) particles. The results indicated that exposure to carbon or helium particles did not disrupt cognitive performance in the intact rats. Estradiol implants in the ovariectomized subjects exacerbated the disruptive effects of space radiation on operant performance. Although estrogen does not appear to function as a neuroprotectant following exposure to space radiation, the present data suggest that intact females may be less responsive to the deleterious effects of exposure to space radiation on cognitive performance, possibly due to the effects of estrogen on cognitive performance.
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