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March 1961

Effect of Thermal Neutrons on Central Nervous SystemApparent Tolerance of Central Nervous System Structures in Man

Author Affiliations

Medical Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Arch Neurol. 1961;4(3):246-257. doi:10.1001/archneur.1961.00450090012003

During the past several years at the Brookhaven National Laboratory the experimental procedure of neutron capture therapy of intracranial neoplasms has been and is continuing to be investigated, utilizing a nuclear reactor as a neutron source.1-5, 8,9 In neutron capture therapy there are two main components of the therapeutic system—the capture, or target atom, and the thermal neutron, or triggering component. As a result of thermal neutron capture, an atomic transformation occurs with release of energy. When the target atom is boron-10, the thermal neutron capture triggers an immediate disintegration of the boron-10 into an energetic lithium-7 atom and an energetic alpha particle with a modest gamma ray emission totaling in all an energy release of 2.4 mev. The restricted distribution of the energy release to a volume of one average cell provides a selectivity of action that in principle will affect one cell suitably primed and loaded while

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