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Spaceflight-Induced Intracranial Hypertension

Michael, Alex and Marshall-Bowman, Karina (2015) Spaceflight-Induced Intracranial Hypertension. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, 86 (6), pp. 1-6. Aerospace Medical Association. doi: 10.3357/AMHP.4284.2015. ISSN 2375-6314.

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INTRODUCTION: Although once a widely speculated about and largely theoretical topic, spaceflight-induced intracranial hypertension is more accepted as a distinct clinical phenomenon, yet the underlying physiological mechanisms are still poorly understood. In the past, many terms were used to describe the symptoms of malaise, nausea, vomiting, and vertigo, though longer duration spaceflights have increased the prevalence of overlapping symptoms of headache and visual disturbance. Spaceflight-induced visual pathology is thought to be a manifestation of increased intracranial pressure (ICP) because of its similar presentation to cases of known intracranial hypertension on Earth as well as the documentation of increased ICP by lumbar puncture in symptomatic astronauts upon return to gravity. The most likely mechanisms of spaceflight-induced increased ICP include a cephalad shift of body fl uids, venous outfl ow obstruction, blood-brain barrier breakdown, and disruption to CSF fl ow. The relative contribution of increased ICP to the symptoms experienced during spacefl ight is currently unknown, though other factors recently posited to contribute include local effects on ocular structures, individual differences in metabolism, and the vasodilator effects of carbon dioxide. This review article attempts to consolidate the literature regarding spaceflight-induced intracranial hypertension and distinguishes it from other pathologies with similar symptomatology. It discusses the proposed physiological causes and the pathological manifestations of increased ICP in the spaceflight environment and provides considerations for future long-term space travel. In the future, it will be critical to develop countermeasures so that astronauts can participate at their peak potential and return safely to Earth.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/97206/
Document Type:Article
Title:Spaceflight-Induced Intracranial Hypertension
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Michael, AlexDivision of Neurosurgery, Southern Illinois School of MedicineUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Marshall-Bowman, KarinaInstitute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace CenterUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1-6
Publisher:Aerospace Medical Association
Keywords:increased intracranial pressure, intracranial hypertension, spaceflight, space adaptation syndrome, VIIP, visual impairment
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Integrative Studien (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Space Physiology
Deposited By: Becker, Christine
Deposited On:14 Jul 2015 11:03
Last Modified:14 Jul 2015 12:54

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