Space and Gravitational Physiology - What can we Use it for?
M. D., dr. med., Universities Space Research Association (USRA), Division of Space Life Sciences, Houston, Texas, USA
Blood pressure regulation is sensitive to gravity. As an example, lying down from an upright position dilates the arterial vessels and decreases heart rate thereby lowering blood pressure. This happens despite an increase in central blood volume. Adjustment of blood pressure to posture is accomplished through stimulation of arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreflexes.
The relative contribution, however, of each class of baroreflex is unknown. Simultaneously, the renal excretion rate of fluid and salt is augmented, for which the mechanisms are unknown. Therefore, gravitational and anti-gravitational models can be used to identify the mechanisms. Weightlessness in space for months is a unique tool to understand the relationship between gravity and blood pressure regulation and preliminary data suggest that blood pressure is lower in space. Thus, it is possible that the daily stimulus of gravity increases blood pressure, and thus with age participates as one mechanism of hypertension.
Peter Norsk is the first Danish professor in Space Medicin and is currently working for NASA and the Mars mission.
Please register by e-mail to NIBU@novozymes.comRefreshments will be served after the lecture
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