A deathblow to longterm space travel? Brain scans of astronauts reveal.....0ooooooo

Braznor

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2005
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Brain scans of astronauts who have spent more than a month in space have shown serious damage in their eyeballs and brain tissue that could jeopardise the future of long-term space missions.

Researchers used MRI scans to examine the eyes and brains of 27 astronauts, who had flown long-duration NASA missions, and found a pattern of deformities in their eyeballs, optic nerves and pituitary glands that remains unexplained.

This ranged from a flattening and bulging of the eyeball to damage to the connections between the brain and the pituitary gland -- one of the key glands governing bodily functions, the researchers said.

The astronauts examined had been exposed to zero or micro gravity for an average of 108 days, either on space shuttle missions or on-board the International Space Station, Daily Mail reported.

The problems found in the astronauts are similar to those caused by intercranial hypertension -- a rare and dangerous condition where pressure inside the brain rises and presses against the skull and eye sockets.

Prof Larry Kramer, who led the tests at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, said: "Microgravity-induced intracranial hypertension represents a hypothetical risk factor and a potential limitation to long-duration space travel.

"Consider the possible impact on proposed manned missions to Mars or even the concept of space tourism. Can risks be eventually mitigated? Can abnormalities detected be completely reversed?" he asked.

"The next step is confirming the findings, defining causation and working towards a solution based on solid evidence," he added.

The results, published in the journal Radiology, showed that nine of the 27 astronauts suffered an expansion of the cerebral spinal fluid space surrounding the optic nerve.

A flattening of the rear of the eyeball was found in six astronauts, while bulging of the optic nerve found in four astronauts. Three of them also had changes in their pituitary gland and its connection to the brain.With humans adapted over millions of years for livingwithin the pressure of Earth's atmosphere and gravity, it is unsurprising that space plays havoc with our systems.

In fact, with astronaut bodies trapped between conflicting gravity fields, lower gravity, and centrifugal forces, probably the most surprising fact is how well our bodies can endure space at all, the researchers said.

While these findings are not likely to put a hold on any current planned space missions, there may be implications to long-term travel in space as humanity continues to broaden our horizons, they added.

Meanwhile, William Tarver, head of flight medicine at Nasa's Johnson Space Centre in Houston, said no astronauts had been ruled out of flying after the findings, which he said were "suspicious but not conclusive of intracranial hypertension".

"Nasa has placed this problem high on its list of human risks, has initiated a comprehensive programme to study its mechanisms and implications, and will continue to closely monitor the situation," he said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/home/online-channel/healh-a-fitness/49386-long-term-space-missions-cause-eye-problems-in-astronauts-.html

D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:
 

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
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Id like to see them develop an artificial gravity chamber in orbit and then conduct the same long term tests to see if its due to the lack of gravity or is it due to some other factor such as exposure to cosmic radiation
 

drebo

Diamond Member
Feb 24, 2006
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Sounds like this would be fixed by increasing the atmospheric pressure inside the space ships/stations.
 

Jaepheth

Platinum Member
Apr 29, 2006
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I think they need to conceive, birth, and raise a child in space...

...for science.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
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I'm sure they already did 1000's of tests on the subject, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of that could be contributed to the flight to and from space ;p
 

darkewaffle

Diamond Member
Oct 7, 2005
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Not that it can't, but is it just me or are these just 'noted' abnormalities and there haven't been any tangible side effects yet?
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Mar 5, 2001
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I'll bet robots don't have problems with optic nerves, pituitary glands, etc., and can do everything the astronauts do for about 10% the cost. (With the exception of they can't do experiments on what happens to humans in space.)
 

SunnyD

Belgian Waffler
Jan 2, 2001
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Let's see, is this the effect of being IN space, or the effect of being subjected to multiple g-forces repeated during launch and reentry, and more importantly being subjected to EVEN MORE than that force during training and testing (repeatedly)...

:hmm:
 

Nintendesert

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2010
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I had read another article that this condition only causes problems for male astronauts and the chick-a-nauts don't show any signs of it.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,520
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They must not have seen 2001. They had artificial gravity with the rotating deal.
 

Blackjack200

Lifer
May 28, 2007
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Let's see, is this the effect of being IN space, or the effect of being subjected to multiple g-forces repeated during launch and reentry, and more importantly being subjected to EVEN MORE than that force during training and testing (repeatedly)...

:hmm:

It should be easy to figure out: fighter pilots experience those G forces too. If fighter pilots show the same effects, it would be a pretty good clue.

My guess is that it's either prolonged exposure to a lack of gravity (related to the G-force theory) or radiation that not being completely sheilded.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
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Let's see, is this the effect of being IN space, or the effect of being subjected to multiple g-forces repeated during launch and reentry, and more importantly being subjected to EVEN MORE than that force during training and testing (repeatedly)...

:hmm:

I was wondering that too. Wonder what the MRI's of of Top Fuel dragster racers and Navy Pilots that do do launches/landing off of aircraft carriers look like. Those are too of the more repetitive hard start/stops I could think of.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
33,442
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If we're going to take space seriously, we need to have children born and raised up there in order to truly appreciate the challenges we face, and the adaptations needed.
 

Nintendesert

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Mar 28, 2010
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http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/10/astronaut-feels-spaces-toll-on-his-body/?hpt=hp_bn1



In the past few years, about half of the astronauts aboard the international space station have developed an increasing pressure inside their heads, an intracranial pressure that reshapes their optic nerve, causing a significant shift in the eyesight of male astronauts. Doctors call it papilledema.


Female space travelers have not been affected.


Maybe this is something different in the OP, but there is something else going on if only men are affected and females aren't.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
110,592
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Id like to see them develop an artificial gravity chamber in orbit and then conduct the same long term tests to see if its due to the lack of gravity or is it due to some other factor such as exposure to cosmic radiation

I was told that cosmic radiation was a good thing

SS01.jpg
 

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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Ah classic. "Wait, women can go into space just fine but MEN have deterioration of their eyesight and master gland? Guess this is the end of space travel..."

Damn-it if guys can't do it NO ONE CAN!
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,459
854
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I'll bet robots don't have problems with optic nerves, pituitary glands, etc., and can do everything the astronauts do for about 10% the cost. (With the exception of they can't do experiments on what happens to humans in space.)

They can't reproduce either...