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Researchers Identify Radiation Exposure as Potential Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on October 31, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Researchers have worked for decades on finding a clear cause of Alzheimer’s disease. While research has identified many risk factors, science has not found a direct cause of the disease. A recent study by the University of Southern Denmark looks at a recently identified risk factor: ionizing radiation exposure.

Ionizing radiation exposure has become more common in modern society thanks to occupations like nuclear plant technicians and airplane crew members. Many types of medical tests and treatments like radiation therapy and CT scans also put patients at risk of higher exposure to radiation.

While studying the hippocampus region of mice brains, researchers applied low doses of ionizing radiation over 24 hours for 300 days. The test showed molecular alterations in the hippocampus similar to those seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The hippocampus is the main target area of the brain for Alzheimer’s study since it is responsible for memory and learning.

The research, published in Oncotarget, suggests that people who work at high-exposure jobs might be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s, as well as people who undergo radiation treatment or multiple imaging scans.

The study also suggests that the radiation causes damage by targeting the integration of newly created neurons in existing synaptic wires — essentially breaking already existing neural bonds.

Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Could Qualify You for Social Security Disability Benefits

Memory loss and cognitive decline can become hazardous conditions while on the job. If you or a loved one are still pre-retirement age and experiencing early Alzheimer’s complications that prevent you from working, call the Disability Help Group at 800-800-2009. Our disability advocates will schedule a free consultation where we will discuss your right to Social Security disability benefits.