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Adv Space Res. 2004;33(8):1368-74.

Short term microgravity effect on isometric hand grip and precision pinch force with visual and proprioceptive feedback.

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Hand's Microsurgery Department, S. Chiara Hospital, Pisa, Italy.


Experiments executed on the upper limb are assuming increasing significance in the frame of the Human Physiology in space, for at least two reasons: the upper limb is the principal means of locomotion for the subject living in a space station; furthermore, fatigue can have a significant effect on the hand, for the ordinary work on board, and in particular for the extra-vehicular activities. The degradation of the performances affecting the muscular-skeletal apparatus can be easily recognized on the upper limb, by exerting specific scientific protocols, to be repeated through the permanence of the subject in weightlessness conditions. Another aspect relevant to the effect of microgravity on the upper limb is associated with the alteration of the motor control programs due to the different gravity factor, affecting not only the bio-mechanics of the subject, but in general all his/her psycho-physical conditions, induced by the totally different environment. Specific protocols on the upper limb can facilitate the studies on learning mechanisms for the motor control. The results of such experiments can be transferred to the Earth, useful for treatment of subjects with local traumas or diseases of the Central Nervous System.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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