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Acta Astronaut. 1981 Sep-Oct;8(9-10):1059-72.

Pathophysiology of motor functions in prolonged manned space flights.

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Institute of Biomedical Problems, Ministry of Health, Moscow, USSR.


The influence of weightlessness on different parts of the motor system have been studied in crew members of 140 and 175 days space flights. It has been shown that weightlessness affects all parts of the motor system including (i) the leg and trunk muscles, in which severe atonia, a decrease of strength and an increase of electromyographic cost of contraction have been observed, (ii) the proprioceptive elements and the spinal reflex mechanisms in which decreased thresholds accompanied by decreases of maximal amplitude of reflexes and disturbances in cross reflex mechanisms have been found. and (iii) the central mechanisms that control characteristics of postural and locomotor activities. The intensities and durations of disturbances of different parts of the motor system did not correlate to each other, but did correlate with prophylactic activity during space flight. The data suggest a different nature of disturbances caused by weightlessness in different parts of the motor system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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