Researchers have found changes in the brains of astronauts who have visited the International Space Station, with parts of the brain called perivascular spaces widening in size, according to a digitartlend report.
This new study looks at how the space around the fluid-filled brain vessels changes in 15 astronauts, and researchers looked at their brains before they went into space using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and then after the astronauts stayed on the International Space Station for periods of months. Then, the researchers looked at their brains again at intervals of one month, two months, and six months after they returned to Earth.
The researchers found that these fluid-filled spaces in the brain, called perivascular spaces, became larger in astronauts who went to the space station for the first time.
However, astronauts who have already gone into space and were to the station on another mission did not show any change, and this indicates that astronauts may be adapting to space, and according to lead author Juan Piantino in a statement, experienced astronauts may have reached a kind of balance. .
And while the changes in the brains may seem exciting or worrisome, the astronauts didn’t show any problems with balance or visual memories, so there’s no reason to believe they have problems with these changes.
The changes likely stem from a lack of gravity, which means fluids tend to collect in the upper body during long periods of stay in space, which gives astronauts a “puffy” appearance and what may be responsible for the vision deterioration experienced by many astronauts. The space.
“We’ve all been adapted to use gravity to our advantage, and nature didn’t put our brains at our feet – it raised them high, and once you remove gravity from the equation, what does that do to human physiology?” Biantino said.
Previous research has found that astronauts’ brains tend to get larger when they spend time in space, which is also due to fluid redistribution, and the brains appear to adapt to microgravity conditions by relying more on visual and tactile information for balance than the vestibular system does. In the body.
Understanding how the human body changes during space flights is a major concern for space agencies, but studying this topic could also be useful to people on Earth.
With this study, according to Biantino, these findings not only help in understanding the fundamental changes that occur during spaceflight but also for people on Earth who suffer from diseases that affect the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid.
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