Research

Prolonged exposure to space leads to an increase in individual parts of the brain.

Completed the study of an international groupscientists from Russia, Germany and Belgium, aimed at understanding the implications for the brain of long space flights. The findings of the study, affirmed by experts from the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Medical and Rehabilitation Center of the Ministry of Health of Russia, as well as a number of research organizations from Belgium and the Federal Republic of Moldova, were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists have analyzed the medical indicators 11Roscosmos cosmonauts, collected from February 2014 to May 2018 before flying to the International Space Station (ISS), shortly after returning, as well as seven months after the cosmonauts were on Earth.

Analysis of information about the state of the brain of peoplewhich was collected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), revealed a significant increase in lateral and third cerebral ventricles in astronauts who had just returned from the ISS, and an incomplete restoration of normal volume, despite being in terrestrial conditions during the family months from the moment of flight. The study states that the volume of the side cavities filled with the cerebrospinal fluid of the astronauts who had just returned from the ISS was increased by 13.3 percent, and of the third ventricles - by 10.4 percent. Repeated examination after seven months showed an increase in ventricular volume above the norm by 7.7 percent, and third - by 4.7 percent.

Unfortunately, the study does not indicate the consequences of the detected changes.

Scientists have long known that a long stayin space leads to changes in human physiology, but the effects on human health of the future from these changes are poorly understood. As part of the expeditions to the ISS, researchers were able to find out that being in conditions of weightlessness can lead to atrophy of bone and muscle tissue, deterioration of the elasticity of blood vessels, decreased immunity, and problems with vision. In addition, a long stay in space leads to a weakening of the fit of the vertebrae to each other and the disappearance of the natural curvature of the spine, which in turn leads to an increase in height to 5 cm.

It was also previously reported that scanningThe astronaut's brain before and after spaceflight showed a change in the white matter volumes in the areas responsible for the movement and processing of sensory information. That is why some astronauts have problems with the coordination of movements to return to Earth after long space flights.

All of these studies are critical becausehumanity is increasingly beginning to resort to the possibility of the colonization of other planets in the solar system. Identifying problems and possible countermeasures is very important for the health of the space crew and the success of future interplanetary missions.

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