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Project Summary

Project title: CEREBRAD, Cognitive and Cerebrovascular Effects Induced by Low Dose Ionizing Radiation

Project nr: 295552

Project co-ordinator: M. Abderrafi Benotmane

Starting date: October, 1st 2011

Duration in months: 40 months


The major elements of scientific uncertainty in the context of radiation protection policy and of risk assessment for cerebrovascular diseases, set the following key topics (1) the direct assessment of health effects through epidemiological studies of groups exposed to low doses, (2) dose-response and biological effects from different types of radiation and (3) the biological processes in cells and tissues mediating the cerebrovascular effects of low-dose radiation. These 3 topics have been identified as priorities by the HLEG, the MELODI Strategic Agenda and ARCH (Agenda for Research on Chernobyl Health), and will be covered in the CEREBRAD (Cognitive and Cerebrovascular Effects Induced by Low Dose Ionising Radiation) project. CEREBRAD will address the problem of cerebrovascular effects in humans: in individuals that were exposed in utero, in cohorts of adults from the Chernobyl liquidators, and in children receiving low doses to the brain during cancer radiotherapy. We will study cognitive effects in animal models exposed to radiation at different stages of brain development, with special emphasis on early postnatal exposures, and will examine the initial and late effects induced in brain by irradiation at the cellular and molecular levels.

The main concern of CEREBRAD is to identify the potential risk of doses below 100 mGy delivered to a young child. To inform on risk estimates of the effect from internal and external exposures, as well as synergistic effect with other environmental pollutants, all these different conditions will be evaluated. The consortium is an interdisciplinary team of radiobiologists, epidemiologists, experts in neurodegenerative diseases, genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics, paediatricians and dosimetrists. Special attention will be paid to efficient project management, training, dissemination and communication with stakeholders and the general public.