There is a major problem for astronauts making long trips

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The zero-gravity environment of space can have a number of bizarre impacts on the body, including strange headaches.
Astronauts with no previous history of headaches may experience migraine and tension-type headaches if they spend over 10 days in space during a long-haul space flight, according to new research published in the scientific journal Neurology.
This may pose a major issue for the future of long-distance space travel, researchers say.
The paper studied 24 astronauts from NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and investigated how their time on the International Space Station affected their headaches.
Stock image of an astronaut saluting.
Astronauts have been found to get more headaches in space than they do on Earth.
Stock image of an astronaut saluting.
Astronauts have been found to get more headaches in space than they do on Earth.
ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUSBefore the study began, nine astronauts never had any headaches, while three had at least one major headache in the past year that impacted daily activities.
None had ever been diagnosed with migraine.
While on the ISS, 22 of the astronauts experienced at least one headache, with a total of 378 headaches reported across all the astronauts during the cumulative 3,596 days in space.
The researchers also found that while 38 percent of the astronauts experienced headaches on the ground prior to space travel, 92 percent had headaches during space missions.
Ninety percent of these headaches were tension-type headaches, while 10 percent were migraines.
“Changes in gravity caused by space flight affect the function of many parts of the body, including the brain,” study author W. P. J. van Oosterhout, a researcher at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, said in a statement.
“The vestibular system, which affects balance and posture, has to adapt to the conflict between the signals it is expecting to receive and the actual signals it receives in the absence of normal gravity.
This can lead to space motion sickness in the first week, of which headache is the most frequently reported symptom.
Our study shows that headaches also occur later in space flight and could be related to an increase in pressure within the skull.”
These headaches were also found to have been more intense during space missions, and more likely to be migraine in the first week of space flight.
Twenty-one astronauts had one or more headaches during this first week, totaling 51 headaches, 12 of which were migraine-like.
Stock image of an astronaut in space.
If astronauts get headaches and migraines during space travel, this could be an issue for future missions.
Stock image of an astronaut in space.
If astronauts get headaches and migraines during space travel, this could be an issue for future missions.
ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUSNone of the astronauts reported any headaches in the three months after returning to Earth.
The astronauts did report their own symptoms, so they may not have remembered everything entirely correctly.
Additionally, this study doesn’t show that space necessarily causes headaches; it simply highlights a correlation between the two.
“Further research is needed to unravel the underlying causes of space headache and explore how such discoveries may provide insights into headaches occurring on Earth,” said Van Oosterhout.
“Also, more effective therapies need to be developed to combat space headaches as for many astronauts this a major problem during space flights.”
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Strange headaches are just one of the strange effects that the zero-gravity environment of space can have on the human body.

According to new research published in the scientific journal Neurology, astronauts who have never had a headache before may develop tension-type and migraine headaches if they spend more than ten days in space on a long-haul space mission.

According to experts, this could be a significant problem for long-distance space travel in the future.

Investigating how their time on the International Space Station affected their headaches, the paper examined 24 astronauts from NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

A stock photo of an astronaut giving a salute. It’s been discovered that headaches are more common among astronauts in space than on Earth. A stock photo showing an astronaut giving a salute. It’s been discovered that headaches are more common among astronauts in space than on Earth. PLUS ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES.

Nine astronauts had no headaches prior to the start of the study, and three astronauts had at least one significant headache that interfered with daily activities within the previous year. No one had ever received a migraine diagnosis.

Out of the astronauts who spent a total of 3,596 days in space, 22 astronauts reported having at least one headache during their time on the ISS.

The researchers also found that while 38 percent of the astronauts experienced headaches on the ground prior to space travel, 92 percent had headaches during space missions. Ten percent of these headaches were of the migraine type, and ninety percent were of the tension variety.

“Many bodily parts, including the brain, are affected by changes in gravity brought on by space travel,” the study’s author W. H. P. J. researcher at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, van Oosterhout, stated in a statement.

In the absence of normal gravity, the vestibular system, which regulates posture and balance, must adjust to the conflict between the signals it expects to receive and the ones it actually receives. The most commonly reported symptom of space motion sickness, which can result from this, is headache during the first week. According to our research, headaches can also happen later in space travel and may be caused by an increase in intracranial pressure. ****.

It was also observed that during space missions, these headaches were more severe and had a higher probability of being migraines during the first week of space flight. In the first week of their assignment, twenty-one astronauts reported having one or more headaches, for a total of 51 headaches—12 of which resembled migraines.

A stock photo showing an astronaut in orbit. This could be a problem for upcoming missions if astronauts experience headaches and migraines when in space. An astronaut in space is shown in this stock photo. Future space missions may encounter problems if astronauts experience headaches and migraines while in orbit. ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS.

Three months after returning to Earth, not a single astronaut reported having headaches.

It’s possible that the astronauts didn’t fully recall everything because they did report their own symptoms. Furthermore, this study only demonstrates a correlation between the two; it does not prove that space causes headaches.

According to Van Oosterhout, “more research is required to identify the fundamental causes of space headache and investigate how such discoveries may provide insights into headaches occurring on Earth.”. Furthermore, as space headaches are a major issue for many astronauts during space flights, more potent treatments must be developed to address this issue. “.”.

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