Artificial gravity: a possible countermeasure for post-flight orthostatic intolerance.

Moore ST, Diedrich A, Biaggioni I, Kaufmann H, Raphan T, Cohen B
Acta Astronaut. 2005 56 (9-12): 867-76

PMID: 15835033

Four payload crewmembers were exposed to sustained linear acceleration in a centrifuge during the Neurolab (STS-90) flight. In contrast to previous studies, otolith-ocular reflexes were preserved during and after flight. This raised the possibility that artificial gravity may have acted as a countermeasure to the deconditioning of otolith-ocular reflexes. None of the astronauts who were centrifuged had orthostatic intolerance when tested with head-up passive tilt after flight. Thus, centrifugation may also have helped maintain post-flight hemodynamic responses to orthostasis by preserving the gain of the otolith-sympathetic reflex. A comparison with two fellow Neurolab orbiter crewmembers not exposed to artificial gravity provided some support for this hypothesis. One of the two had hemodynamic changes in response to post-flight tilt similar to orthostatically intolerant subjects from previous missions. More data is necessary to evaluate this hypothesis, but if it were proven correct, in-flight short-radius centrifugation may help counteract orthostatic intolerance after space flight.

c2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

MeSH Terms (14)

Acceleration Astronauts Blood Pressure Centrifugation Fluid Shifts Gravity, Altered Heart Rate Humans Hypotension, Orthostatic Otolithic Membrane Reflex, Vestibulo-Ocular Space Flight Weightlessness Weightlessness Countermeasures

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