Study: Long-Term Space Flight Could Up Brain Volume
STUDY: LONG-TERM SPACEFLIGHT COULD PERMANENTLY INCREASE ASTRONAUT BRAIN VOLUME, CAUSE PITUITARY PROBLEMS
(CNN) – According to a new study, long-term space flight could permanently increase an astronaut’s brain volume.
And that’s not a good thing.
The findings of the study published on Tuesday in the journal radiology also indicate that the effects can include a deformation of the pituitary gland.
The so-called “master” gland is responsible for the functions of multiple other glands in the human body.
The study’s lead author said micro-gravity causes blood to redistribute toward the head instead of pooling toward lower extremities.
This creates more pressure on the head.
11 astronauts were a part of the study.
The researchers found that increases in their brain and cerebrospinal fluid volume remained a year after space flight.
They believe this means the volume increase is permanent.
Efforts are underway to find measures to counteract the fluid shift and head pressure.