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long-duration space flight

Brian Crucian, Adriana Babiak-Vazquez, Smith Johnston, Duane L Pierson, C Mark Ott, Clarence Sams
BACKGROUND: The environment of spaceflight may elevate an astronaut's clinical risk for specific diseases. The purpose of this study was to derive, as accurately as currently possible, an assessment of in-flight clinical "incidence" data, based on observed clinical symptoms in astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS). METHODS: Electronic medical records were examined from 46 long-duration ISS crew members, each serving approximately a 6-month mission on board the ISS, constituting 20...
2016: International Journal of General Medicine
D G Chang, R M Healey, A J Snyder, J V Sayson, B R Macias, D G Coughlin, J F Bailey, S E Parazynski, J C Lotz, A R Hargens
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective case series. OBJECTIVE: Evaluate lumbar paraspinal muscle (PSM) cross-sectional area and intervertebral disc (IVD) height changes induced by a 6-month space mission on the International Space Station (ISS). The long-term objective of this project is to promote spine health and prevent spinal injury during space missions as well as here on Earth. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND: NASA crewmembers have a 4.3 times higher risk of herniated IVDs, compared to the general and military aviator populations...
October 25, 2016: Spine
Cara L Benjamin, Raymond P Stowe, Lisa St John, Clarence F Sams, Satish K Mehta, Brian E Crucian, Duane L Pierson, Krishna V Komanduri
Following the advent of molecular assays that measure T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) present in recent thymic emigrants, it has been conclusively shown that thymopoiesis persists in most adults, but that functional output decreases with age, influencing the maintenance of a diverse and functional T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire. Space flight has been shown to result in a variety of phenotypic and functional changes in human T cells and in the reactivation of latent viruses. While space flight has been shown to influence thymic architecture in rodents, thymopoiesis has not previously been assessed in astronauts...
August 4, 2016: JCI Insight
P Zabel, M Bamsey, D Schubert, M Tajmar
The cultivation of higher plants occupies an essential role within bio-regenerative life support systems. It contributes to all major functional aspects by closing the different loops in a habitat like food production, CO2 reduction, O2 production, waste recycling and water management. Fresh crops are also expected to have a positive impact on crew psychological health. Plant material was first launched into orbit on unmanned vehicles as early as the 1960s. Since then, more than a dozen different plant cultivation experiments have been flown on crewed vehicles beginning with the launch of Oasis 1, in 1971...
August 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Richard L Hughson, Nicholas J Yee, Danielle K Greaves
BACKGROUND: Elevated ambient Pco2 in the International Space Station (ISS) has been cited as a potential contributor to the vision impairment intracranial pressure syndrome (VIIP), a significant health risk for astronauts during long-duration space missions. The elevation in ambient Pco2 is rather modest and normal respiratory compensation could minimize the impact on arterial Pco2. METHODS: In nine male astronauts, breaths measured prior to a rebreathing maneuver were examined to assess inspired and end-tidal Pco2 during upright seated preflight and in-flight conditions...
2016: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Nora Petersen, Patrick Jaekel, Andre Rosenberger, Tobias Weber, Jonathan Scott, Filippo Castrucci, Gunda Lambrecht, Lori Ploutz-Snyder, Volker Damann, Inessa Kozlovskaya, Joachim Mester
BACKGROUND: To counteract microgravity (µG)-induced adaptation, European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts on long-duration missions (LDMs) to the International Space Station (ISS) perform a daily physical exercise countermeasure program. Since the first ESA crewmember completed an LDM in 2006, the ESA countermeasure program has strived to provide efficient protection against decreases in body mass, muscle strength, bone mass, and aerobic capacity within the operational constraints of the ISS environment and the changing availability of on-board exercise devices...
2016: Extreme Physiology & Medicine
I A Naumov, L N Kornilova, D O Glukhikh, A S Pavlova, E V Khabarova, G A Ekimovsky, A V Vasin
The paper reports the results of studying the vestibular and ocular intersensory interactions and eye tracking function in 32 cosmonauts on maiden and repeated missions to the International space station. Mission duration ranged from 125 to 215 days. The cosmonauts were tested twice pre launch (baseline data collection) and on days R + 1/2, 4/5 and 8/9. Video oculography was used to test eye movements. It was found that in the majority of cosmonauts who had no experience of long-duration space missions the eye tracking function remained impaired significantly till R + 8/9...
2016: Aviakosmicheskaia i Ekologicheskaia Meditsina, Aerospace and Environmental Medicine
Heng Zhang, Ning-Tao Ren, Fang-Qiang Zhou, Jie Li, Wei Lei, Ning Liu, Long Bi, Zi-Xiang Wu, Ran Zhang, Yong-Gang Zhang, Geng Cui
With the development of technology and space exploration, studies on long-duration space flights have shown that microgravity induces damage to multiple organs, including the dorsal root ganglia (DRG). However, very little is known about the effects of long-term microgravity on DRG neurons. This study investigated the effects of microgravity on lumbar 5 (L5) DRG neurons in rats using the hindlimb unweighting (HU) model. Male (M) and female (F) Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into M- and F-control (CON) groups and M- and F-HU groups, respectively (n = 10)...
September 2016: Neurochemical Research
Karen R Jonscher, Alba Alfonso-Garcia, Jeffrey L Suhalim, David J Orlicky, Eric O Potma, Virginia L Ferguson, Mary L Bouxsein, Ted A Bateman, Louis S Stodieck, Moshe Levi, Jacob E Friedman, Daila S Gridley, Michael J Pecaut
Spaceflight affects numerous organ systems in the body, leading to metabolic dysfunction that may have long-term consequences. Microgravity-induced alterations in liver metabolism, particularly with respect to lipids, remain largely unexplored. Here we utilize a novel systems biology approach, combining metabolomics and transcriptomics with advanced Raman microscopy, to investigate altered hepatic lipid metabolism in mice following short duration spaceflight. Mice flown aboard Space Transportation System -135, the last Shuttle mission, lose weight but redistribute lipids, particularly to the liver...
2016: PloS One
Eric C Rouchka, Robert M Flight, Brigitte H Fasciotto, Rosendo Estrada, John W Eaton, Phani K Patibandla, Sabine J Waigel, Dazhuo Li, John K Kirtley, Palaniappan Sethu, Robert S Keynton
Astronauts participating in long duration space missions are likely to be exposed to ionizing radiation associated with highly energetic and charged heavy particles. Previously proposed gene biomarkers for radiation exposure include phosphorylated H2A Histone Family, Member X (γH2AX), Tumor Protein 53 (TP53), and Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor 1A (CDKN1A). However, transcripts of these genes may not be the most suitable biomarkers for radiation exposure due to a lack of sensitivity or specificity. As part of a larger effort to develop lab-on-a-chip methods for detecting radiation exposure events using blood samples, we designed a dose-course microarray study in order to determine coding and non-coding RNA transcripts undergoing differential expression immediately following radiation exposure...
March 2016: Genomics Data
Alan R Hargens, Laurence Vico
Long-duration bed rest is widely employed to simulate the effects of microgravity on various physiological systems, especially for studies of bone, muscle, and the cardiovascular system. This microgravity analog is also extensively used to develop and test countermeasures to microgravity-altered adaptations to Earth gravity. Initial investigations of bone loss used horizontal bed rest with the view that this model represented the closest approximation to inactivity and minimization of hydrostatic effects, but all Earth-based analogs must contend with the constant force of gravity by adjustment of the G vector...
April 15, 2016: Journal of Applied Physiology
Jacquelyn A Holt, Brandon R Macias, Suzanne M Schneider, Donald E Watenpaugh, Stuart M C Lee, Douglas G Chang, Alan R Hargens
Microgravity-induced lumbar paraspinal muscle deconditioning may contribute to back pain commonly experienced by astronauts and may increase the risk of postflight injury. We hypothesized that a combined resistive and aerobic exercise countermeasure protocol that included spinal loading would mitigate lumbar paraspinal muscle deconditioning during 60 days of bed rest in women. Sixteen women underwent 60-day, 6° head-down-tilt bed rest (BR) and were randomized into control and exercise groups. During bed rest the control group performed no exercise...
May 15, 2016: Journal of Applied Physiology
J I Pagel, A Choukèr
Human psychology and physiology are significantly altered by isolation and confinement. In light of planned exploration class interplanetary missions, the related adverse effects on the human body need to be explored and defined as they have a large impact on a mission's success. Terrestrial space analogs offer an excellent controlled environment to study some of these stressors during a space mission in isolation without the complex environment of the International Space Station. Participants subjected to these space analog conditions can encounter typical symptoms ranging from neurocognitive changes, fatigue, misaligned circadian rhythm, sleep disorders, altered stress hormone levels, and immune modulatory changes...
June 15, 2016: Journal of Applied Physiology
Andrew G Lee, William J Tarver, Thomas H Mader, Charles Robert Gibson, Stephen F Hart, Christian A Otto
BACKGROUND: To describe the history, clinical findings, and possible pathogenic etiologies of the constellation of neuro-ophthalmic findings discovered in astronauts after long-duration space flight and to discuss the terrestrial implications of such findings. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Retrospective review of published observational, longitudinal examination of neuro-ophthalmic findings in astronauts after long-duration space flight; analysis of postflight questionnaires regarding in-flight vision changes in approximately 300 additional astronauts; and hypothesis generating for developing possible future countermeasures and potential implications for neuro-ophthalmic disorders on Earth...
March 2016: Journal of Neuro-ophthalmology: the Official Journal of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society
Mitzi S Laughlin, Mark E Guilliams, Bruce A Nieschwitz, David Hoellen
INTRODUCTION: Long-duration spaceflight missions lead to the loss of muscle strength and endurance. Significant reduction in muscle function can be hazardous when returning from spaceflight. To document these losses, NASA developed medical requirements that include measures of functional strength and endurance. Results from this Functional Fitness Test (FFT) battery are also used to evaluate the effectiveness of in-flight exercise countermeasures. The purpose of this paper is to document results from the FFT and correlate this information with performance of in-flight exercise on board the International Space Station...
December 2015: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Alan D Moore, Peggy A Lynn, Alan H Feiveson
INTRODUCTION: Aerobic deconditioning may occur during International Space Station (ISS) flights. This paper documents findings from exercise testing conducted before, during, and after ISS expeditions. METHODS: There were 30 male and 7 female astronauts on ISS missions (48 to 219 d, mean 163 d) who performed cycle exercise protocols consisting of 5-min stages eliciting 25%, 50%, and 75% peak oxygen uptake (Vo(2peak)). Tests were conducted 30 to 90 d before missions, on flight day 15 and every 30 flight days thereafter, and on recovery (R) days +5 and +30...
December 2015: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Stuart M C Lee, Alan H Feiveson, Sydney Stein, Michael B Stenger, Steven H Platts
INTRODUCTION: Cardiovascular deconditioning apparently progresses with flight duration, resulting in a greater incidence of orthostatic intolerance following long-duration missions. Therefore, we anticipated that the proportion of astronauts who could not complete an orthostatic tilt test (OTT) would be higher on landing day and the number of days to recover greater after International Space Station (ISS) than after Space Shuttle missions. METHODS: There were 20 ISS and 65 Shuttle astronauts who participated in 10-min 80° head-up tilt tests 10 d before launch, on landing day (R+0), and 3 d after landing (R+3)...
December 2015: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Inessa B Kozlovskaya, E N Yarmanova, A D Yegorov, V I Stepantsov, E V Fomina, E S Tomilovaskaya
The system of countermeasures for the adverse effects of microgravity developed in the USSR supported the successful implementation of long-duration spaceflight (LDS) programs on the Salyut and Mir orbital stations and was subsequently adapted for flights on the International Space Station (ISS). From 2000 through 2010, crews completed 26 ISS flight increments ranging in duration from 140 to 216 d, with the participation of 27 Russian cosmonauts. These flights have made it possible to more precisely determine a crew-member's level of conditioning, better assess the advantages and disadvantages of training processes, and determine prospects for future developments...
December 2015: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
James A Loehr, Mark E Guilliams, Nora Petersen, Natalie Hirsch, Shino Kawashima, Hiroshi Ohshima
Physical training has been conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) for the past 10 yr as a countermeasure to physiological deconditioning during spaceflight. Each member space agency has developed its own approach to creating and implementing physical training protocols for their astronauts. We have divided physical training into three distinct phases (preflight, in-flight, and postflight) and provided a description of each phase with its constraints and limitations. We also discuss how each member agency (NASA, ESA, CSA, and JAXA) prescribed physical training for their crewmembers during the first 10 yr of ISS operations...
December 2015: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Kyle J Hackney, Jessica M Scott, Andrea M Hanson, Kirk L English, Meghan E Downs, Lori L Ploutz-Snyder
It is well known that long-duration spaceflight results in deconditioning of neuromuscular and cardiovascular systems, leading to a decline in physical fitness. On reloading in gravitational environments, reduced fitness (e.g., aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and endurance) could impair human performance, mission success, and crew safety. The level of fitness necessary for the performance of routine and off-nominal terrestrial mission tasks remains an unanswered and pressing question for scientists and flight physicians...
December 2015: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
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