Going To Space Literally Changes Your Brain. WHY?

New research led by a team from the University of Antwerp has looked at the brains of cosmonauts before and after their six-month space missions and reported that prolonged periods in microgravity alter the structure of the brain. Some changes were still noticeable seven months after they came back to Earth. earth science examples earth science topics space station space station earth

Going To Space Literally Changes Your Brain why why earth science examples earth science topics space station space station earth

The international team took MRI scans of 10 male cosmonauts before they went to space followed up with a second scan a few weeks after they returned to Earth. In seven cases, they also conducted a third scan after several months. earth science examples earth science topics space station space station earth

As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, the team noticed a reduction in the volume of gray matter throughout the brain, with particular effects in both the orbitofrontal cortex, which is involved in decision making, and the temporal cortex, which plays a role in the processing of sensory inputs and memory formation. earth science examples earth science topics space station space station earth

Reductions were also reported in the brain’s white matter, the substance that connects different areas of gray matter to each other. The team also noticed changes in the distribution of the cerebrospinal fluid, which removes waste products and protects the brain. Without gravity, more fluid moves to the head and accumulates there. earth science examples earth science topics space station space station earth

“Changes occur in the gray and white matter and cerebrospinal fluid,” lead author Dr Angelique Van Ombergen said in a statement. “And some of those changes remain detectable even seven months after the mission has ended.” earth science examples earth science topics space station space station earth

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