MEDES - The French Institute for Space Medicine and PhysiologyS
pace flight duration will increase with the use of the International Space Station and possible future missions to Mars. Therefore, there is a need to anticipate the medical problems which could happen during the flight and to prepare the return to Earth of astronauts. Experiments are organised on ground to simulate the effects of weightlessness to study the adaptation to Space environment and implement efficient preventive tools (counter measures).S
pace flight duration will increase with the use of the International Space Station and possible future missions to Mars.T
herefore, there is a need to anticipate the medical problems which could happen during the flight and to prepare the return to Earth of astronauts. Experiments are organised on ground to simulate the effects of weightlessness to study the adaptation to Space environment and implement efficient preventive tools (counter-measures).T
he most often used model is the head-down bed rest (-6 degrees below the supine horizontal position, see the picture). This position induces physiological changes similar to those encountered by astronauts during or after space flight as for example :
cardio-vascular deconditioning characterised by a drop in blood pressure when standing and reduced capacity to physical exercise,
atrophy of number of back and lower limbs,
bone changes characterised by a decrease of the bone density of the spine column and of the lower limbs bones; these changes are observed when the space flight or the bed rest experiment last several weeks,
gait and balance changes when recovering.F
or ten years, MEDES has been organising bed rest experiments of different durations from several hours to several weeks according to the scientific objectives of the experiment. After a medical check-up, a determined number of volunteers, corresponding to specific criteria, is selected to participate in the study. The study will start only after the approval of an Ethics Committee.T
he volunteers will stay in head-down tilted (-6Â° position) during the whole experiment, without standing (even for meals and get washed); the position upholding is checked by video-monitoring. A specialised medical and paramedical team takes care of the volunteers: physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and dieticians.I
n order to prepare space flights on board the International Space Station (see below, photo NASA), the French (CNES), European (ESA) and Japanese (NASDA) Agencies decided to join their efforts to organise, 3 months head-down bed-rest experiments on male volunteers (starting in 2001).T
he purpose of these experiments is to evaluate the consequences on man of long duration space flights and the efficiency of the countermeasures (pharmaceutical and/or muscular exercise). The resulting data will be crosschecked with the data coming from astronauts during actual space flights.T
he first experiment will take place in the Space Clinic (MEDES) located into Toulouse Rangueil Hospital. The objectives of these studies are to assess the consequences of a long duration flight and the pharmacological and physical (muscular exercise) efficiency of preventive tools.D
uring these experiments, several international scientific teams will realise numerous scientific protocols concerning:
blood and urine assays,
. . . .T
he whole experiment is handled under the Fench law for biomedical research.If you wish to participate to the next Bed Rest experiment phase, which will take place from March to July 2002, please check that you fulfill the following criteria:
You have to be :
- citizen in a European Union member country or of a European Space Agency member state
- between 25 and 45 years of age
- between 165 and 185 cm tall
- a non-smoker
- in the normal weight range for your height
- in good health and on no chronic medical treatment
- highly motivated
If you meet these criteria, you are kindly invited to send a short letter with your name, address, date and place of birth, your body height, body weight, and a short description why you would like to participate.
The address is:
31031 TOULOUSE CEDEX 4
We will send you a candidature file as soon as we receive your letter.
You can also directly apply through our web site.
On-line demands will be more rapidly consulted.Long Term Bed Rest - MEDES - 200
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