Ever stand up too quickly and see stars? Fainting from low blood pressure can be dangerous for astronauts as well as for patients.
Ever stand up too quickly and see stars? Fainting from low blood pressure can be dangerous for astronauts as well as for patients. With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing approaching, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers are publishing heart-related space research that helps us to understand the problem of low blood pressure.
The study, now in Circulation, is the first to examine this condition – called orthostatic intolerance – during daily activities when the astronauts returned home. The researchers found that exercise regimens during space flight, followed by saline injections after landing, were sufficient to prevent the condition from occurring.
Cardiologist Dr. Benjamin Levine led the study and has worked in space research for three decades. Dr. Levine is a Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and Director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, a collaboration between UT Southwestern and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.
“Doing an hour or more of daily exercise was sufficient to prevent loss of heart muscle, and when it was combined with receiving hydration on their return, the condition was prevented entirely,” said Dr. Levine. “We expected to see up to two-thirds of the space crew faint. Instead, no one fainted.”
Read more at UT Southwestern Medical Center
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