Simulating Cerebral Hemodynamics Effects Onboard International Space Station

International Space Station; BIOPAC recording ECG; Head-Down Tilt Study with BIOPAC HRBefore every important space flight precautions must be taken to ensure the astronauts’ safety. Beyond just ensuring that the space craft is secure, it is important to note any potential physiological changes that may occur in space. Researchers Marshall-Goebel et. Al investigated hypothesized alterations in cerebral hemodynamics could cause visual impairment and intracranial pressure in pilots. The team evaluated the effects by having participants keep their heads in a head-down tilt (HDT) position to simulate microgravity for multiple hours, and were then analyzed in an MRI. BIOPAC ECG was used for recording cardiovascular measurements from subjects, who had three-lead electrocardiograms attached to obtain the beat-by-beat HR.

New and Noteworthy: “This is the first study to examine cerebral hemodynamics using phase-contrast MRI during various angles of head-down tilt. Furthermore, the study investigated the additional effects of increased ambient carbon dioxide during head-down tilt as an analog to the environment onboard the International Space Station.”

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