147 research outputs found

    Pilot study on patients with Mal de Debarquement syndrome during pregnancy

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    Aim: To evaluate if patients with Mal de Debarquement syndrome (MdDS) demonstrate different symptom levels or symptom type during pregnancy. Materials & methods: 18 MdDS patients that were or had been pregnant during their condition were recruited to complete a retrospective online questionnaire. Respondents answered questions regarding their basic clinical data, diagnosis, triggers and differences in symptom level and symptom type during pregnancy and before pregnancy. Results: A total of 81.3% reported that their symptoms were reduced during pregnancy compared with before pregnancy. Respondents also reported a different perception of motion and experienced less dizziness while being pregnant. Conclusion: The physiological changes that occur during pregnancy improve the symptoms of patients with MdDS, and this is potentially attributable to the rise in estrogen and progesterone. Lay abstract: Mal de Debarquement syndrome (MdDS) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by a constant sensation of self-motion. More women are affected than men, and subsequently a hormonal implication has been theorized. This study aimed to evaluate if symptoms change in patients with MdDS during their pregnancy. A total of 18 MdDS patients were recruited to complete a retrospective online questionnaire. Among these, 81.3% of respondents reported that their symptoms were lower during pregnancy compared with before pregnancy. Respondents also reported a different perception of motion and experienced less dizziness while being pregnant. Our results support the hypothesis that pregnancy positively influences MdDS symptoms

    Sham-Controlled Study of Optokinetic Stimuli as Treatment for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome

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    Introduction: Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) is a condition characterized by a perception of self-motion in the absence of a stimulus, with two onset types: Motion-Triggered and Spontaneous. Currently, the pathophysiology is unknown and consequently, the therapeutic options are limited. One proposed treatment protocol, developed by Dai and colleagues is based on optokinetic stimulation, which aims to re-adapt the vestibular ocular reflex. This study aimed to reproduce the treatment protocol developed by Dai and colleagues and to assess if a placebo effect is present in the treatment protocol and lastly, aimed to further investigate the treatment on MdDS patient outcomes.Method: Twenty-five MdDS patients (13 Motion-Triggered and 12 Spontaneous) were exposed to 5 consecutive days of optokinetic treatment (consisting of exposure to optokinetic stimuli with head movements). Eleven of these 25 patients were also exposed to 2 days of a sham treatment prior to the OKN treatment. Posturography measurements and reported symptoms [e.g., using the visual analog scale (VAS)] of patients were assessed throughout the treatment. Posturography data of the patients was compared with the data of 20 healthy controls.Results: No placebo effect was recorded with any changes in postural data and VAS scale. After the optokinetic treatment, a significant improvement in postural control was observed in 48% of patients, of whom 70% were of the Motion-Triggered subtype (p-values: Area under the Curve—Anterior Posterior < 0.001; Area under the Curve—Medio Lateral p < 0.001, Confidence Ellipse Area (CEA) < 0.001, Velocity < 0.001).Conclusion: The protocol was effective in approximately half of the MdDS patients that took part in the study, with no placebo effect recorded. The Motion-Triggered group responded better to treatment than the Spontaneous group. In addition to this, this study indicates that the greatest postural changes occur within the first 3 days of treatment, suggesting that a shorter protocol is possible. Overall, these findings support what was previously observed in Dai's studies, that optokinetic stimulation can reduce and ease self-motion perception in those with MdDS. Thus, validating the reproducibility of this protocol, suggesting that a consistent and uncomplicated implementation across treatment centers is possible

    The effect of spaceflight and microgravity on the human brain

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    peer reviewedMicrogravity, confinement, isolation, and immobilization are just some of the features astronauts have to cope with during space missions. Consequently, long-duration space travel can have detrimental effects on human physiology. Although research has focused on the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system in particular, the exact impact of spaceflight on the human central nervous system remains to be determined. Previous studies have reported psychological problems, cephalic fluid shifts, neurovestibular problems, and cognitive alterations, but there is paucity in the knowledge of the underlying neural substrates. Previous space analogue studies and preliminary spaceflight studies have shown an involvement of the cerebellum, cortical sensorimotor, and somatosensory areas and the vestibular pathways. Extending this knowledge is crucial, especially in view of long-duration interplanetary missions (e.g., Mars missions) and space tourism. In addition, the acquired insight could be relevant for vestibular patients, patients with neurodegenerative disorders, as well as the elderly population, coping with multisensory deficit syndromes, immobilization, and inactivity

    Isabelle Modelchecking for insider threats

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    The Isabelle Insider framework formalises the technique of social explanation for modeling and analysing Insider threats in infrastructures including physical and logical aspects. However, the abstract Isabelle models need some refinement to provide sufficient detail to explore attacks constructively and understand how the attacker proceeds. The introduction of mutable states into the model leads us to use the concepts of Modelchecking within Isabelle. Isabelle can simply accommodate classical CTL type Modelchecking. We integrate CTL Modelchecking into the Isabelle Insider framework. A running example of an IoT attack on privacy motivates the method throughout and illustrates how the enhanced framework fully supports realistic modeling and analysis of IoT Insiders

    3D Bioprinting in Microgravity: Opportunities, Challenges, and Possible Applications in Space

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    : 3D bioprinting has developed tremendously in the last couple of years and enables the fabrication of simple, as well as complex, tissue models. The international space agencies have recognized the unique opportunities of these technologies for manufacturing cell and tissue models for basic research in space, in particular for investigating the effects of microgravity and cosmic radiation on different types of human tissues. In addition, bioprinting is capable of producing clinically applicable tissue grafts, and its implementation in space therefore can support the autonomous medical treatment options for astronauts in future long term and far-distant space missions. The article discusses opportunities but also challenges of operating different types of bioprinters under space conditions, mainly in microgravity. While some process steps, most of which involving the handling of liquids, are challenging under microgravity, this environment can help overcome problems such as cell sedimentation in low viscous bioinks. Hopefully, this publication will motivate more researchers to engage in the topic, with publicly available bioprinting opportunities becoming available at the International Space Station (ISS) in the imminent future

    Macro- And microstructural changes in cosmonauts' brains after long-duration spaceflight

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    Long-duration spaceflight causes widespread physiological changes, although its effect on brain structure remains poorly understood. In this work, we acquired diffusion magnetic resonance imaging to investigate alterations of white matter (WM), gray matter (GM), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) compositions in each voxel, before, shortly after, and 7 months after long-duration spaceflight. We found increased WM in the cerebellum after spaceflight, providing the first clear evidence of sensorimotor neuroplasticity. At the region of interest level, this increase persisted 7 months after return to Earth. We also observe a widespread redistribution of CSF, with concomitant changes in the voxel fractions of adjacent GM. We show that these GM changes are the result of morphological changes rather than net tissue loss, which remained unclear from previous studies. Our study provides evidence of spaceflight-induced neuroplasticity to adapt motor strategies in space and evidence of fluid shift- induced mechanical changes in the brain. © 2020The Authors, some rights reserved.Peer reviewe

    Prolonged microgravity induces reversible and persistent changes on human cerebral connectivity

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    peer reviewedThe prospect of continued manned space missions warrants an in-depth understanding of how prolonged microgravity affects the human brain. Functional MRI can pinpoint changes reflecting adaptive neuroplasticity across time. We acquired resting-state functional MRI data in 15 cosmonauts before, shortly after, and seven months after spaceflight as a follow-up to assess global connectivity changes over time. Our results show persisting connectivity decreases in posterior cingulate cortex and thalamus. and persisting increases in the right angular gyrus. Connectivity in the bilateral insular cortex decreased after spaceflight, which reversed at follow-up. No significant connectivity changes across eight months were found in a matched control group. Overall, we show that altered gravitational environments influence functional connectivity longitudinally in multimodal brain hubs, reflecting adaptations to unfamiliar and conflicting sensory input in microgravity. These results provide new insights into brain functional modifications occurring during spaceflight, and their further development when back on Earth

    3D Bioprinting in Microgravity: Opportunities, Challenges, and Possible Applications in Space

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    3D bioprinting has developed tremendously in the last couple of years and enables the fabrication of simple, as well as complex, tissue models. The international space agencies have recognized the unique opportunities of these technologies for manufacturing cell and tissue models for basic research in space, in particular for investigating the effects of microgravity and cosmic radiation on different types of human tissues. In addition, bioprinting is capable of producing clinically applicable tissue grafts, and its implementation in space therefore can support the autonomous medical treatment options for astronauts in future long term and far-distant space missions. The article discusses opportunities but also challenges of operating different types of bioprinters under space conditions, mainly in microgravity. While some process steps, most of which involving the handling of liquids, are challenging under microgravity, this environment can help overcome problems such as cell sedimentation in low viscous bioinks. Hopefully, this publication will motivate more researchers to engage in the topic, with publicly available bioprinting opportunities becoming available at the International Space Station (ISS) in the imminent future
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