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 email@example.com 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!
Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy