Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Home Lead Story Travelling To Space May Alter Brain, Says Study

Travelling To Space May Alter Brain, Says Study

Upon return to Earth, this process is then gradually reversed, which then results in a relative reduction of white matter volume

Spending long periods in space not only leads to muscle atrophy and reductions in bone density, it also has lasting effects on the brain, suggests a study.

The study, led by a team of neuroscientists from the University of Antwerp in Belgium and Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) of Munich, showed that differential changes in the three main tissue volumes of the brain remain detectable for at least half a year after the end of their last mission.

“Our results point to prolonged changes in the pattern of cerebrospinal fluid circulation over a period of at least seven months following the return to Earth,” said professor Peter zu Eulenburg from the LMU.

“However, whether or not the extensive alterations shown in the grey and the white matter lead to any changes in cognition remains unclear at present,” he added.

The study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, was carried out on ten cosmonauts, each of whom had spent an average of 189 days on board the International Space Station (ISS).

The magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) scans performed in the days after the return to Earth revealed that the volume of the grey matter was reduced compared to before launch.

ISS Launched First satellite For Cleaning Space Junk
Space travel can alter brain: Study, Pixabay

Seven months later, this effect was partly reversed, but nevertheless still detectable.

In contrast, the volume of the cerebrospinal fluid, which fills the inner and outer cavities of the brain, increased within the cortex during long-term exposure to microgravity.

Further, the white matter tissue volume (those parts of the brain that are primarily made up of nerve fibres) appeared to be unchanged upon investigation immediately after landing.

But, the subsequent examination six months later showed a widespread reduction in volume relative to both earlier measurements.

Also Read- Snapchat Could Run Out of Money Soon

In this case, the team postulated that over the course of a longer stint in space, the volume of the white matter may slowly be replaced by an influx of cerebrospinal fluid.

Upon return to Earth, this process is then gradually reversed, which then results in a relative reduction of white matter volume.

According to the researchers, further studies using a wider range of diagnostic methods are deemed essential, to minimise the risks associated with long-term missions and to characterise any clinical significance of the findings. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,782FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Air Pollution Causes Food Delivery Leading to Plastic Waste

When the air quality outside is bad, office workers are more likely to order food than go out for lunch, which in turn increases...

Virus Can Reinfect COVID Patients When Antibodies Start Depleting

Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can again get infected by the virus once the antibodies of the viral disease start depleting, the Indian...

International Chef Day a Low-Key Event Due to Pandemic

The International Chef Day is observed on October 20, but this year, the celebrations here were muted as chefs are facing a torrid time...

Coffee Before Breakfast May Increase Diabetes Risk

If you're taking coffee before breakfast, read this carefully. Researchers have found that drinking coffee first thing can have a negative effect on blood...

India’s Nutrition Experts on Supporting Public Health Delivery

Indias public health and nutrition efforts are differentiated by an enterprising early start going as far back as 1975 with the beginning of Anganwadi...

‘Fashion Reboot’- A Collection Focusing Gen Z

The final day of the digital edition of Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2021 on Sunday opened a film presentation that showcased a...

Disorder in Sleep Cycle Due to Excessive Use of Cellphones

Cell phones have become integral to function for nearly everyone. While it has brought a lot of tasks to our fingertips, cell phones also...

Higher Mortality Risk for COVID Patients with Kidney Diseases

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that there is a much higher risk of mortality faced by COVID-19 patients in intensive care, who...

Recent Comments