Most people can feel the onset of a magnetic storm. The head starts aching, weariness and depressive moods come around. The doctors found out that the solar storms or an increase in geomagnetic activity could be a health risk. They trigger a larger number of heart attacks and strokes. They make injuries rates grow higher. At times the complete calmness of a geomagnetic field can be also detrimental to humans.
The lack of magnetic storms can threaten the results of radiotherapy given to cancer patients, according to a study by researchers at the Central Research Institute of Roentgenology based in St. Petersburg.
Radiation is harmful to the marrow cells thus invariably causing hemodepression i.e. lowered levels of leukocytes and thrombocytes in the blood. The research staff analyzed the clinical data on radiotherapy of 74 patients. The results show that the degree of hemodepression is linked not only to dozes of radiation but to some other factors as well. The researchers suggested that the solar activities could be a common factor affecting all patients. The solar flares bring about changes in the geomagnetic environment. In particular, the disturbance index of the earth?s magnetic field is changed.
The researchers found out that patients? blood characteristics during the radiotherapy became worse as the geomagnetic activities swing to excess, falling either into a magnetic storm or a magnetic calm. The levels of leukocytes and thrombocytes suffered the most dramatic decrease. Leukocytes or the white blood-cells help protect the body against different kinds of the negative impact. They also participate in the production of antibodies. A lack of them results in the weakening of the immune system and a higher risk of infectious diseases which are particularly dangerous to patients with cancer. Thrombocytes play an important role in the process of blood coagulation and help stop the hemorrhage. Today?s medicine is capable of increasing the contents of both the leukocytes and thrombocytes in the blood. The researchers hope that their findings will help prevent grave complications caused by radiotherapy to cancer patients.
by Natalia Reznik
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