Author Topic: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage  (Read 1106 times)

Offline TomH

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Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« on: 11/02/2017 09:47 PM »
Mods, a search did not find it elsewhere. If I missed it, please move or delete.

A study released 11-2-17 in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine states that long term microgravity causes an increased amount of cerebrospinal fluid, which constricts (the term used by the article's author was squeezes) the brain, ultimately causing its shrinkage within the skull. The brain moves upward in the skull (one would presume from lack of gravity keeping it settled lower in brain case). This article includes MRI images of before and after prolonged flights. This appears to be a different study from one released at the beginning of the year which concluded that long term microgravity changed the shape of the brain.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/01/health/brain-space-astronaut-mri-scan-study/index.html

It will be interesting to see what happens to Martian settlers after many years of living in 1/3G.

Slightly more in-depth article:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171101191856.htm

Abstract of original NEJM article:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1705129
« Last Edit: 11/02/2017 10:07 PM by TomH »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #1 on: 11/03/2017 12:25 AM »
Marathon runners also suffer from brain shrinkage. I wonder if it's possible the brain shrinkage is due to the intense exercise regimen on-board ISS?
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline TomH

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #2 on: 11/03/2017 01:09 AM »
This is nothing but a wild guess, but I would think it is the continual pulsing G-forces from downward impact. That would be where I would start with a hypothesis in a study. As far as the microgravity, I would expect the decrease in gravity to allow the brain to float upwards and more cerebrospinal fluid to develop and fill the void below the brain. Again, sheer speculation on my part, but a place to begin as hypothesis in follow up studies.

Offline TakeOff

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #3 on: 11/05/2017 06:37 PM »
Are there any microgravity researcher who considers the POSITIVE health effects of microgravity? Or is prejudice and beginning with the predetermined conclusion a requirement for getting a research grant for making up excuses for it?

No more back pain. No more dropping things. No more falling. (Together with traffic and violence, that covers about 90% of work related injuries). No more kicking the toes into a table leg. Microgravity must be great to experience while disabled or elderly. Thus far, no one has suffered the slightest injury from microgravity or space radiation. And there are 500+ who have done it since during a human lifetime now. 500 randomly picked from almost any profession, would've suffered injuries at work.


This whole "problem" is just imaginary and doesn't exist. It is just irrational psychological hysteria.
« Last Edit: 11/05/2017 06:41 PM by TakeOff »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #4 on: 11/05/2017 09:15 PM »
Hehe... well, we are predisposed to care more about losses than we are about gains. I'd bother taking issue with some of your benefits, but you're right... there are plenty of benefits.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Jim

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #5 on: 12/04/2017 05:37 PM »

No more back pain.

wrong, many experience back pain in zero g

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #6 on: 12/04/2017 06:03 PM »

No more back pain.

wrong, many experience back pain in zero g


Interesting.  My guess is that it couldn't be spine related but muscular.  Is that right?

Offline scienceguy

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #7 on: 12/04/2017 06:15 PM »
From my understanding, astronauts experience both loss of calcium from their bones and deterioration of their muscles.
e^(pi)i = -1

Offline Jim

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #8 on: 12/04/2017 06:37 PM »
Are there any microgravity researcher who considers the POSITIVE health effects of microgravity? Or is prejudice and beginning with the predetermined conclusion a requirement for getting a research grant for making up excuses for it?


Because there isn't any for long term.

This whole "problem" is just imaginary and doesn't exist. It is just irrational psychological hysteria.

What is the source of your data that says otherwise?  Or is it just your biased opinion?

Offline Jim

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #9 on: 12/04/2017 06:41 PM »
No more dropping things.

actually more things get lost on the ISS

No more kicking the toes into a table leg..

Wrong and it is worse.  In addition, to still banging toes, there is banging the head.  Also, more lower leg cramps.

Offline Tuts36

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #10 on: 12/04/2017 06:48 PM »
It's good to be aware of the health problems that can be caused by zero G.  However a lot of people (not this community) are taking this information and conflating it with future plans for outposts / colonies on the Moon & Mars.

Do we have much in the way of solid data & science to say HOW MUCH gravity is necessary to keep human physiology in proper working order?  Where is the threshold? 

Are there any studies planned to see if the old SF idea of spinning the living quarters to simulate gravity would provide a solution to these problems?

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Study: Micro-G Induces Brain Shrinkage
« Reply #11 on: 12/04/2017 07:03 PM »
It's good to be aware of the health problems that can be caused by zero G.  However a lot of people (not this community) are taking this information and conflating it with future plans for outposts / colonies on the Moon & Mars.
Indeed.

Microgravity (1-10x 10^-6 g) <> low g IE g/6 or g/3
Quote from: Tuts36
Do we have much in the way of solid data & science to say HOW MUCH gravity is necessary to keep human physiology in proper working order?  Where is the threshold? 
Practically none, a point made by a former NASA flight surgeon. There is a very small study of people who had long term bed rest (which sort of simulates low g) have short sessions on a small centrifuge giving them about 1g in the head. 
Quote from: Tuts36
Are there any studies planned to see if the old SF idea of spinning the living quarters to simulate gravity would provide a solution to these problems?
No. Because that's expensive and no one has been really serious about visiting another planet, even though one of NASA's stated is space exploration, which you might think this would be an enabling technology for.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

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