A newly published ophthalmologic study recently described the history, clinical findings, and possible etiologies of novel ophthalmic findings discovered in astronauts after long-duration space flights.
The study team included ophthalmologists Thomas H. Mader, MD, of Alaska Native Medical Center and neuro-ophthalmologist and NANOS member, Andrew G. Lee, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology of The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas. The report is published in October's Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
The authors reported eye exam findings in seven astronauts as well as an analysis of post-flight questionnaires regarding in-flight vision changes in approximately 300 additional astronauts. The seven astronauts with ocular anomalies had returned from long-duration space missions to the International Space Station (ISS) and all seven subjects had undergone complete eye examinations, including dilated exams and photographs of the back of the eye. Several had MRI scans, spinal taps, and computerized analysis of their optic nerve. After 6 months of space flight, all 7 astronauts had eye findings, including swollen optic nerves, distortion of the shape of the eyeball, and retinal changes. Most became more farsighted, and had blurred vision, especially at near. The spinal taps showed either top normal or slightly elevated pressures in the spinal fluid surrounding the brain and optic nerves.
The 300 post-flight questionnaires documented that approximately 29% and 60% of astronauts on short and long-duration missions, respectively, experienced a worsening of distance or near visual acuity. Some of these vision changes remain unresolved years after flight. The authors theorized that changes may have resulted from fluid shifts brought about by prolonged exposure to low gravity. The findings might represent parts of a spectrum of ocular and brain responses to extended exposure to low gravity. Future research is ongoing for astronauts entering new missions.
1. Mader TH, Gibson CR, Pass AF, Kramer LA, Lee AG, Fogarty J, et al. Optic Disc Edema, Globe Flattening, Choroidal Folds, and Hyperopic Shifts Observed in Astronauts after Long-duration Space Flight. Ophthalmology 118(10):2058-2069 October 2011.
Note to media: Contact NANOS at firstname.lastname@example.org to request full text of the study and arrange interviews with experts.
About the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society
The North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS) is the only organization dedicated to the advancement of neuro-ophthalmologic education and information in North America and has over 500 members. NANOS is dedicated to the achievement of excellence in patient care through the support and promotion of education, communication, research, and the practice of neuro-ophthalmology. For more information, please visit www.nanosweb.org.
Janel Fick | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy