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Effects of five days of bed rest with intermittent centrifugation on neurovestibular function.

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International Space University, Strasbourg, France.



We tested whether intermittent short-radius centrifugation was effective for mitigating alteration in balance and gait following bed rest.


Ten male subjects were exposed to 5 days of 6° head-down tilt bed rest with: (a) no countermeasure; (b) daily 1-g centrifugation for a continuous 30-min period; and (c) daily 1-g centrifugation for six periods of 5 min. During and after the bed rest, subjects were asked to scale the severity of neurovestibular symptoms that followed centrifugation or 80° head-up tilt. Following the bed rest, equilibrium scores were derived from anterior-posterior sway while standing on a foam pad with the eyes open or closed while making pitch head movements, and gait was evaluated by grading subjects' performance during various locomotion tasks.


At the beginning of bed rest, one single 30-min period of centrifugation induced more severe neurovestibular symptoms than six periods of 5-min centrifugation. After bed rest, although equilibrium scores and gait performance were not significantly altered, subjects felt less neurovestibular dysfunction with orthostatic stress when centrifugation was used.


Centrifugation was effective at reducing the severity of neurovestibular symptoms after bed rest, but this decrease was not different between one or multiple daily sessions.

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