We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.
Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Ampronix,  Inc

Download Mobile App




MRI Study Finds Muscles Supporting Spine May Weaken in Space

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 09 Nov 2016
Print article
Image: Mission specialist Michael Gernhardt performing a spacewalk (Photo courtesy of NASA).
Image: Mission specialist Michael Gernhardt performing a spacewalk (Photo courtesy of NASA).
Researchers have found that long missions in space result in atrophy of the muscles supporting the spine of astronauts.

The study included six crew members of the International Space Station (ISS). The astronauts underwent one Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of the spine before the mission to the ISS, one upon their return to Earth, and a third scan one to two months after their return.

The research study funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; Washington, DC, USA) was published online in the October 2016, issue of the journal Spine, and provides insights into the connection between prolonged space flights, spinal disc disease and back pain.

The NASA astronauts spent between four and seven months in the ISS in microgravity. The aim of the study was to find which factors affect lower back pain and the strength of the lumbar spine during long-duration spaceflight, and what happens when the astronauts returning to Earth. More than half of ISS crew members reporting spinal pain.

The researchers did not find any change in the spinal disc height of the astronauts but found an increased risk of spinal disc herniation, around four times higher than that in matching controls. The astronauts gained approximately two inches in height during their time in space.

Dr. Douglas G. Chang, University of California, San Diego, said, "This could provide helpful physiological information to support a manned mission to Mars. These measurements run counter to previous hypotheses about the effects of microgravity on disc swelling. Whether new exercise countermeasures can prevent in-flight paraspinal muscle atrophy, improve spinal pain and function, shorten recovery time, and how such exercise might be performed in a microgravity environment with available exercise equipment need further study."

Related Links:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Print article
Radcal

Channels

Industry News

view channel
Image: A demonstration featuring ACR AI-LAB will allow Summit attendees to gain a better understanding of how radiologists can use ACR AI-LAB tools to learn the basics of AI and participate in the creation, evaluation and use of health care AI (Photo courtesy of ACR).

Imaging Informatics Summit Highlights Impact of AI Technologies on Patient Care

The 2019 Imaging Informatics Summit organized by the American College of Radiology {(ACR) Reston, VA, USA} will be held in Washington, D.C., USA, on October 5–6, 2019, and will focus on the role that artificial... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2019 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.