Analysis of the results of long term investigations of bones in cosmonauts on board Mir orbital sta tion(OS) and International Space Station (ISS) (n = 80) was performed. Theoretically predicted (evolution ary predefined) change in mass of different skeleton bones was found to be correlated (r = 0.904) with the position relative to Earth’s gravity vector. Vector dependence of bone loss results from local specificity of expression of bone metabolism genes, which reflects mechanical prehistory of skeleton structures in the evo lution of Homo erectus. Genetic polymorphism is accountable for high individual variability of bone loss, which is attested by the dependence of bone loss rate on polymorphism of certain genetic markers of bone metabolism. The type of the orbital vehicle did not affect the individual specific stability of the bone loss ratio in different segments of the skeleton. This fact is considered as a phenotype fingerprint of local metabolism in the form of a locus specific spatial structure of distribution of non collagen proteins responsible for posi tion regulation of endosteal metabolism. Drug treatment of osteoporosis (n = 107) evidences that recovery rate depends on bone location; the most likely reason is different effectiveness of local osteotropic interven tion into areas of bustling resorption.
Research Containing: Astronaut
The scoring quality of astronauts’ sleeps using Fuzzy C-Means (FCM) during microgravity effect in the International Space Station (ISS)
For successful health programme of Japanese astronauts during space activity in the International Space Station (ISS), we looked into the sleep quality of astronauts by using Fuzzy C-Means (FCM). At the first step, we collected observation data by following sleep schedule of astronaut Noguchi for fifteen days (26 July 2005 to 9 August 2005) during STS-114 spaceflight. The Fuzzy C-Mean (FCM) was used to design the score quality of astronauts’ sleeps. We defined three condition of sleep quality (e.g. sleepy, sleep, deep sleep) with the minimum score (zero) and maximum score (nine). Based on the preliminary result, we found that the minimum sleep score of astronaut Noguchi was from 7 to 9 August 2005 which was due to landing process and the maximum sleep score we found was later than 27 July 2005 during docking on ISS.
Long-duration spaceflight results in a loss of muscle strength that poses both operational and medical risks, particularly during emergency egress, upon return to Earth, and during future extraterrestrial exploration. Isokinetic testing of the knee, ankle, and trunk quantifies movement-specific strength changes following spaceflight and offers insight into the effectiveness of in-flight exercise countermeasures. We retrospectively evaluated changes in isokinetic strength for 37 ISS crewmembers (Expeditions 1–25) following 163 +/- 38 d (mean +/- SD) of spaceflight. Gender, in-flight resistance exercise hardware, and preflight strength were examined as potential modifiers of spaceflight-induced strength changes. Mean isokinetic strength declined 8–17% following space ight. One month after return to Earth, strength had improved, but small defcits of 1–9% persisted. Space flight-induced strength losses were not different between men and women. Mean strength losses were as much as 7% less in crewmembers who flew after the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) replaced the interim Resistive Exercise Device (iRED) as the primary in-flight resistance exercise hardware, although these differences were not statistically significant. Absolute and relative preflight strength were moderately correlated (r= -0.47 and -0.54, respectively) with post flight strength changes. In-flight resistance exercise did not prevent decreased isokinetic strength after long-duration spaceflight. However, continued utilization of ARED, a more robust resistance exercise device providing higher loads than iRED, may result in greater benefits as exercise prescriptions are optimized. With reconditioning upon return to Earth, strength is largely recovered within 30 d.
Increased postflight carotid artery stiffness and inflight insulin resistance resulting from 6-mo spaceflight in male and female astronauts
Removal of the normal head-to-foot gravity vector and chronic weightlessness during spaceflight might induce cardiovascular and metabolic adaptations related to changes in arterial pressure and reduction in physical activity. We tested hypotheses that stiffness of arteries located above the heart would be increased postflight, and that blood biomarkers inflight would be consistent with changes in vascular function. Possible sex differences in responses were explored in four male and four female astronauts who lived on the International Space Station for 6 mo. Carotid artery distensibility coefficient (P = 0.005) and beta-stiffness index (P = 0.006) reflected 17-30% increases in arterial stiffness when measured within 38 h of return to Earth compared with preflight. Spaceflight-by-sex interaction effects were found with greater changes in beta-stiffness index in women (P = 0.017), but greater changes in pulse wave transit time in men (P = 0.006). Several blood biomarkers were changed from preflight to inflight, including an increase in an index of insulin resistance (P < 0.001) with a spaceflight-by-sex term suggesting greater change in men (P = 0.034). Spaceflight-by-sex interactions for renin (P = 0.016) and aldosterone (P = 0.010) indicated greater increases in women than men. Six-month spaceflight caused increased arterial stiffness. Altered hydrostatic arterial pressure gradients as well as changes in insulin resistance and other biomarkers might have contributed to alterations in arterial properties, including sex differences between male and female astronauts.
Sleep deficiency and the use of sleep-promoting medication are prevalent during spaceflight. Operations frequently dictate work during the biological night and sleep during the biological day, which contribute to circadian misalignment. We investigated whether circadian misalignment was associated with adverse sleep outcomes before (preflight) and during spaceflight missions aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Actigraphy and photometry data for 21 astronauts were collected over 3,248 days of long-duration spaceflight on the ISS and 11 days prior to launch (n = 231 days). Sleep logs, collected one out of every 3 weeks in flight and daily on Earth, were used to determine medication use and subjective ratings of sleep quality. Actigraphy and photometry data were processed using Circadian Performance Simulation Software to calculate the estimated endogenous circadian temperature minimum. Sleep episodes were classified as aligned or misaligned relative to the estimated endogenous circadian temperature minimum. Mixed-effects regression models accounting for repeated measures were computed by data collection interval (preflight, flight) and circadian alignment status. The estimated endogenous circadian temperature minimum occurred outside sleep episodes on 13% of sleep episodes during preflight and on 19% of sleep episodes during spaceflight. The mean sleep duration in low-Earth orbit on the ISS was 6.4 ± 1.2 h during aligned and 5.4 ± 1.4 h (P o 0.01) during misaligned sleep episodes. During aligned sleep episodes, astronauts rated their sleep quality as significantly better than during misaligned sleep episodes (66.8±17.7 vs. 60.2±21.0, Po0.01). Sleep-promoting medication use was significantly higher during misaligned (24%) compared with aligned (11%) sleep episodes (Po0.01). Use of any medication was significantly higher on days when sleep episodes were misaligned (63%) compared with when sleep episodes were aligned (49%; Po0.01). Circadian misalignment is associated with sleep deficiency and increased medication use during spaceflight. These findings suggest that there is an immediate need to deploy and assess effective countermeasures to minimize circadian misalignment and consequent adverse sleep outcomes both before and during spaceflight.
It is a challenge for the human body to maintain stable blood pressure while standing. The body’s failure to do so can lead to dizziness or even fainting. For decades it has been postulated that the vestibular organ can prevent a drop in pressure during a position change–supposedly mediated by reflexes to the cardiovascular system. We show–for the first time–a significant correlation between decreased functionality of the vestibular otolith system and a decrease in the mean arterial pressure when a person stands up. Until now, no experiments on Earth could selectively suppress both otolith systems; astronauts returning from space are a unique group of subjects in this regard. Their otolith systems are being temporarily disturbed and at the same time they often suffer from blood pressure instability. In our study, we observed the functioning of both the otolith and the cardiovascular system of the astronauts before and after spaceflight. Our finding indicates that an intact otolith system plays an important role in preventing blood pressure instability during orthostatic challenges. Our finding not only has important implications for human space exploration; they may also improve the treatment of unstable blood pressure here on Earth.
Changes in multifidus and abdominal muscle size in response to microgravity: possible implications for low back pain research
PURPOSE: In microgravity, muscle atrophy occurs in the intrinsic muscles of the spine, with changes also observed in the abdominal muscles. Exercises are undertaken on the International Space Station and on Earth following space flight to remediate these effects. Similar effects have been seen on Earth in prolonged bed rest studies and in people with low back pain (LBP). The aim of this case report was to examine the effects of microgravity, exercise in microgravity and post-flight rehabilitation on the size of the multifidus and antero-lateral abdominal muscles. METHODS: Ultrasound imaging was used to assess size of the multifidus, transversus abdominis and internal oblique muscles at four time points: pre-flight and after daily rehabilitation on day one (R + 1), day 8 (R + 8) and day 14 (R + 14) after return to Earth (following 6 months in microgravity). RESULTS: Exercises in microgravity maintained multifidus size at L2-L4, however, after spaceflight, size of the multifidus muscle at L5 was reduced, size of the internal oblique muscle was increased and size of transversus abdominis was reduced. Rehabilitation post-space flight resulted in hypertrophy of the multifidus muscle to pre-mission size at the L5 vertebral level and restoration of antero-lateral abdominal muscle size. CONCLUSIONS: Exercise in space can prevent loss of spinal intrinsic muscle size. For the multifidus muscles, effectiveness varied at different levels of the spine. Post-mission rehabilitation targeting specific motor control restored muscle balance between the antero-lateral abdominal and multifidus muscles, similar to results from intervention trials for people with LBP. A limitation of the current investigation is that only one astronaut was studied, however, the microgravity model could be valuable as predictable effects on trunk muscles can be induced and interventions evaluated. Level of Evidence Case series.
The aim of the study was to resolve the issue of spaceflight-induced, adaptive modification of the otolith system by measuring unilateral otolith responses in a pre- versus post-flight design. The study represents the first comprehensive approach to examining unilateral otolith function following space flight. Ten astronauts participated in unilateral otolith function tests three times preflight and up to four times after Shuttle flights from landing day through the subsequent 10 days. During unilateral centrifugation, utricular function was examined by the perceptual changes reflected by the subjective visual vertical (SVV) and the otolith-mediated ocular counter-roll, designated as utriculo-ocular response (UOR). Unilateral saccular reflexes were recorded by measurement of collic vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (cVEMP). The findings demonstrate a general increase in interlabyrinth asymmetry of otolith responses on landing day relative to preflight baseline, with subsequent reversal in asymmetry within 2-3 days. Recovery to baseline levels was achieved within 10 days. This fluctuation in asymmetry was consistent for the utricle tests (SVV and UOR) while apparently stronger for SVV. A similar asymmetry was observed during cVEMP testing. In addition, the results provide initial evidence of a dominant labyrinth. The findings require reconsideration of the otolith asymmetry hypothesis; in general, on landing day, the response from one labyrinth was equivalent to preflight values, while the other showed considerable discrepancy. The finding that one otolith response can return to one-g level within hours after re-entry while the other takes considerably longer demonstrates the importance of considering the otolith response as a result of both peripheral and associated central neural processing.
BACKGROUND: It is currently unknown whether immune system alterations persist during long-duration spaceflight. In this study various adaptive immune parameters were assessed in astronauts at three intervals during 6-month spaceflight on board the International Space Station (ISS). AIMS: To assess phenotypic and functional immune system alterations in astronauts participating in 6-month orbital spaceflight. METHODS: Blood was collected before, during, and after flight from 23 astronauts participating in 6-month ISS expeditions. In-flight samples were returned to Earth within 48 h of collection for immediate analysis. Assays included peripheral leukocyte distribution, T-cell function, virus-specific immunity, and mitogen-stimulated cytokine production profiles. RESULTS: Redistribution of leukocyte subsets occurred during flight, including an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count and alterations in CD8+ T-cell maturation. A reduction in general T-cell function (both CD4+ and CD8+) persisted for the duration of the 6-month spaceflights, with differential responses between mitogens suggesting an activation threshold shift. The percentage of CD4+ T cells capable of producing IL-2 was depressed after landing. Significant reductions in mitogen-stimulated production of IFNγ, IL-10, IL-5, TNFα, and IL-6 persisted during spaceflight. Following lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation, production of IL-10 was reduced, whereas IL-8 production was increased during flight. CONCLUSIONS: The data indicated that immune alterations persist during long-duration spaceflight. This phenomenon, in the absence of appropriate countermeasures, has the potential to increase specific clinical risks for crewmembers during exploration-class deep space missions.
The paper presents observation of relativistic electrons. Data are collected by the Radiation Risk Radiometer-Dosimeters (R3D) B2/B3 modifications during the flights of Foton M2/M3 satellites in 2005 and 2007 as well as by the R3DE instrument at the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) on the Columbus External Payload Adaptor at the International Space Station (ISS) in the per- iod February 20 – April 28, 2008. On the Foton M2/M3 satellites relativistic electrons are observed more frequently than on the ISS because of higher (62.8°) inclination of the orbit. At both Foton satellites the usual duration of the observations are a few minutes long. On the ISS the duration usually is about 1 min or less. The places of observations of high doses due to relativistic electrons are distributed mainly at latitudes above 50° geographic latitude in both hemispheres on Foton M2/M3 satellites. A very high maximum is found in the southern hemisphere at longitudinal range 0°–60°E. At the ISS the maximums are observed between 45° and 52° geographic latitude in both hemispheres mainly at longitudes equatorward from the magnetic poles. The measured absolute maximums of dose rates generated by relativistic electrons are found to be as follows: 304 lGy h 1 behind 1.75 g cm 2 shielding at Foton M2, 2314 lGy h 1 behind 0.71 g cm 2 shielding at Foton M3 and 19,195 lGy h 1 (Flux is 8363 cm 2 s 1) behind les than 0.4 g cm 2 shielding at ISS.