Colonizing Mars is no longer solely the work of science fiction but a potential future option for people who desire to live among the weightless. For headline grabbers like Jeff Bezos, NASA and Elon Musk, space colonization -- or space settlement, a preferred term recommended by Bill Nye -- is a big goal for the 21st century.
The long-term risks of living in space include bone loss, cosmic radiation and muscle weakness, just to name a few, so leaving gravity behind certainly has its obstacles. Some of these potential hurdles have already been studied extensively or are currently being investigated, but researchers at MUSC Health have found an important but underserved area of space to study: the brain and gravity's effect on eyesight.
In a recent paper in JAMA Network Open, researchers look at Spaceflight-Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome (SANS) and compare brain scans before and after spaceflight.
The longer astronauts stay in space, the more they've reported blurry vision and eyesight problems when they return to earth, according to Mark Rosenberg, M.D., a neurology resident at MUSC Health and a researcher on the paper.
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