various methods of therapeutic influence on an organism, primarily by alpha particles. Several short-lived isotopes or those that separate quickly from the organism (radon, daughter products of thoron, and others) are used in alpha therapy. These isotopes produce alpha, beta, and gamma radiation; however, during therapy the organism mainly absorbs alpha particles (about 90 percent). The therapy is administered through radon baths (general and local), drinking of radon water, microsyringe, irrigations, inhalation of air enriched with radon, and so on, as well as by application to certain areas of the patient’s skin of radioactive bandages—gauze applicators with daughter products of thoron—or ointments and solutions with thorium X. Alpha therapy favorably affects the functional state of the central and autonomic nervous system, the endocrine glands, and the cardiovascular system; the therapy has a calming, pain-killing, and anti-inflammatory effect and the like. It is indicated for illnesses of the peripheral nervous system, phantom pains, neurasthenia, thyrotoxicosis (in the early stage), and other conditions. It is contraindicated for malignant tumors, tuberculosis, certain blood diseases, during pregnancy, and the like.
Alpha therapy is used at resorts with natural radon factors (water, air), like Piatigorsk, Tskhaltubo, Belokurikha, Brambach (German Democratic Republic), Gastein (Austria), and Jachymov (Czechoslovakia), as well as under nonresort conditions, in which case radon water is prepared using solutions of radium 220/86.
E. S. SHCHEPOT’EVA