Unusual: a stay in space turns the blood … upside down

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Did you know ? An extended stay in space could reverse blood flow, according to a NASA study.

Decidedly, space travel is not easy! It was already known that an extended stay in space could have consequences on the skeleton (with weakening of the bones), on the muscles (with a muscular loss) or on the vision and the risk of cancer.

Now, according to a NASA study published Wednesday, November 13, 2019, the space environment could also have an impact on the blood circulation …

To reach this conclusion, Nasa experts looked at medical data on 11 astronauts (9 men and 3 women) who spent an average of 6 months aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Blood circulation is disrupted while traveling in space

Verdict? Ultrasound examinations have shown a slowing of the blood circulation in the internal jugular vein (which is in the neck and whose role is to circulate part of the blood circulating in the face and in the brain) towards the 50th day of presence aboard the ISS. In some astronauts, the blood flow even began … to turn the other way!

At issue: lack of gravity, according to researchers who published their work in the specialized journal JAMA network open.

While the news may seem amusing, in reality, the risk to the health of astronauts is important: during his stay in the ISS, one of the astronauts studied has developed a blood clot in the internal jugular vein – and that could have led to a life-threatening pulmonary embolism …