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The scientific literature on radiation-protective drugs is reviewed. Emphasis is placed on the mechanisms Involved in determining the sensitivity of biological material to ionizing radiation and mechanisms of chemical radioprotection. In Section 1, the types of radiation are described and the effects of ionizing radiation on biological systems are reviewed. The effects of ionizing radiation are briefly contrasted with the effects of non-Ionizing radiation. Section I reviews the contributions of various natural factors which influence the inherent radiosensitivity of biological systems. Included in the list of these factors are water, oxygen, thiols, vitamins and antioxidants. Brief attention is given to the model describing competition between oxygen and natural radioprotective substances (principally, thiols) In determining the net cellular radiosensitivity. Several theories of the mechanism(s) of action of radioprotective drugs are described In Section 111. These mechanisms include the production of hypoxia, detoxication of radiochemical reactive species, stabilization of the radiobiological target and the enhancement of damage repair processes. Section IV describes the current strategies for the treatment of radiation injury. Likely areas in which fruitful research might be performed are described in Section V. Appendices are devoted to lists of currently-funded research projects Involving chemical radiation protection and a brief compendium of compounds which have been tested for radioprotective activity.
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Federal Emergency Management Agency
Medicine and Health Sciences
Livesey, John C.; Reed, Donald J.; and Adamson, Lucile F., "Chemical Protection Against Ionizing Radiation" (1984). School of Pharmacy Faculty Books and Book Chapters. 17.