Being in space for long periods of time can have major side effects on the human brain, a new study suggests.
The studytitled Changes in brain connectivity in space travelers after long-duration flight, was published Friday in the journal Frontiers in Neural Circuits.
Research led by Dr Andrei Doroshin looked at structural changes in the brains of astronauts who spent nearly six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Using diffuse MRI (dMRI) scans and a new technique called “fiber optic tracing,” the study was able to look at the brains of 12 male astronauts from the European Space Agency and Russia’s Roscosmos.
Data is collected on astronauts before they depart and shortly after they return.
Eight of the participants were also reviewed seven months after they returned to Earth.
“We noticed significant microstructural changes in several large white matter regions, such as the corpus callosum, arcuate fasciculus, corticospinal, corticostriatal, and cerebellum,” the study notes.
The data specifically show that the corpus luteum – a large part of the brain made up of more than 200 million nerve fibers connecting the two hemispheres of the brain – expands by spatial light.
The corpus callosum, identified as a motor area, is essentially a “brain center where commands for movements are initiated,” says Doroshin. Forbes.
Doroshin added: “In the case of weightlessness, an astronaut needs to adjust their travel strategies drastically, relative to Earth. Our research shows that their brains are rewired. “.
The team found that these structural changes after spaceflight “from a functional perspective have a role in sensory motor, language, and visual function.”
While the findings clearly show some neurological changes, the study notes that “neuropsychological data to analyze the functional correlations of any observed changes were not available.”
Furthermore, the study’s authors say it’s important to perfect the neuropsychological profiles of astronauts.
The team stated through the study that they hope their findings “direct future research to investigate changes in brain function and behavior associated with white matter pathways.”
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/17700803/space-travel-change-astronaut-brain/ Here’s how space travel can change astronauts’ brains in strange ways