An international team of researchers has found that long space flights can lead to some cerebral reorganization, but not neurodegeneration. In their paper published in the magazine Science Advance, The team describes the brains of astronauts returning from long-term operations at the International Space Station and what they have discovered.
Preliminary research has shown that long-term aerobic activity can lead to bone and muscle wasting due to the extended freefall effect on the body. Some studies have also shown that increased visual acuity results in a slight loss of visual acuity. In this new endeavor, they wanted to know what kind of effects such missions would have on the brains of those who have been in space for so long.
To find out, the researchers conducted a special type of MRI scan on 11 male Russian astronauts who traveled in space for six months on the ISS — before and after they returned from their missions — and then seven months later.
Researchers have scanned the brains of cosmonauts with a diffuse MRI, a procedure that takes multiple scans at once. In this case, they took 153 scans in a single session. Each scan has slightly different parameters, which allows to create images in multiple ways. For example, one of the scans has a parameter called the value of b, where a specific signal is reduced during scanning to record the decay of the scanned material — in this case, May the Do. Material.
Researchers have found that the brain changes back during long space activities, especially floating in different parts of the skull. This led to a slight reorganization of the brain in response to the reorganization. The brains of cosmonauts also responded in other ways to the extraordinary living environment — they acquired new motor skills and had better balance and coordination. The researchers found that relapse did not lead to neurodegeneration and that the normal trend was almost restored seven months after the astronauts returned to Earth. They confirmed the formation of fluid behind the eyes Space Planes.
Steven Jillings et al. Gross- and microstructural changes in the brains of cosmonauts after prolonged space travel, Advances in science (2020). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.aaz9488
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