Radiation exposure leads to an increased risk for cancer and, possibly, additional ill-defined non-cancer risk, including
atherosclerotic, cardiovascular, cerebro-vascular and neurodegenerative effects. Studies of brain irradiation in animals and humans
provide evidence of apoptosis, neuro-inflammation, loss of oligo-dendrocytes precursors and myelin sheaths, and irreversible damage to
the neural stem compartment with long-term impairment of adult neurogenesis.
With the present paper we aim to present a comprehensive review on brain effects of radiation exposure, with a special focus on its
impact on cognitive processes and psychological functions, as well as on their possible role in the pathophysiology of different