Postflight balance control recovery in an elderly astronaut

A case report

William H. Paloski, F. Owen Black, E. Metter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To examine the sensorimotor adaptive response of a 77-year-old man exposed to the gravito-inertial challenges of orbital space flight. Study Design: Prospective case study with retrospective comparisons. Setting: NASA Neurosciences Laboratory (Johnson Space Center) and Baseline Data Collection Facility (Kennedy Space Center). Primary Participant: One 77-year-old male shuttle astronaut. Intervention: Insertion into low Earth orbit was used to remove gravitational stimuli and thereby trigger sensorimotor adaptation to the microgravity environment. Graviceptor stimulation was reintroduced at landing, and sensorimotor readaptation to the terrestrial environment was tracked to completion. Main Outcome Measures: Computerized dynamic posturography tests were administered before and after orbital flight to determine the magnitude and time course of recovery. Results: The elderly astronaut exhibited balance control performance decrements on landing day; however, there were no significant differences between his performance and that of younger astronauts tested on the same shuttle mission or on previous shuttle missions of similar duration. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that the physiological changes attributed to aging do not necessarily impair adaptive sensorimotor control processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-56
Number of pages4
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

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Astronauts
United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Weightlessness
Space Flight
Orbit
Neurosciences
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Prospective Studies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Postflight balance control recovery in an elderly astronaut : A case report. / Paloski, William H.; Black, F. Owen; Metter, E.

In: Otology and Neurotology, Vol. 25, No. 1, 01.01.2004, p. 53-56.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Paloski, William H. ; Black, F. Owen ; Metter, E. / Postflight balance control recovery in an elderly astronaut : A case report. In: Otology and Neurotology. 2004 ; Vol. 25, No. 1. pp. 53-56.
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