Neurotoxicity of depleted uranium: Reasons for increased concern

George C.T. Jiang, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Depleted uranium (DU) is a byproduct of the enrichment process of uranium for its more radioactive isotopes to be used in nuclear energy. Because DU is pyrophoric and a dense metal with unique features when combined in alloys, it is used by the military in armor and ammunitions. There has been significant public concern regarding the use of DU by such armed forces, and it has been hypothesized to play a role in Gulf War syndrome. In light of experimental evidence from cell cultures, rats, and humans, there is justification for such concern. However, there are limited data on the neurotoxicity of DU. This review reports on uranium uses and its published health effects, with a major focus on in vitro and in vivo studies that escalate concerns that exposure to DU might be associated with neurotoxic health sequelae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Volume110
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 31 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depleted uranium
  • Gulf War syndrome
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Uranium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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