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New findings on astronaut vision loss

Posted on Wednesday, 30 May, 2012 | Comment icon 3 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: NASA

 
An investigation is underway to determine why some astronauts have been experiencing loss of vision.

New research in to the mysterious loss of eyesight reported by some astronauts has revealed that the problem could be related to a Vitamin B-12 or folate deficiency. 20 percent of astronauts who have spent time aboard the Internal Space Station have reported at least some level of eyesight change following their stint in space.

Scientists studying the phenomenon had suggested that an increase in intracranial pressure due to shifts in body fluids in a weightless environment could account for the symptoms, but a new nutritional assessment based on blood and urine samples taken before and after the astronauts' time in space has revealed that vitamin deficiency may be a more likely candidate.

"While investigating the vision changes recently identified in astronauts, nutritional assessment data showed similarities to symptoms that occur with vitamin deficiencies, according to a new study published in the March edition of The Journal of Nutrition."

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 Source: NASA


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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by nephilim12 on 30 May, 2012, 16:13
Loss of vision caused by nutritional deficiency ? If that were the reason, much of the developing countries having a population severely malnourished would be blind. Peoples' vision doesn't get affected except if under extreme conditions over a prolonged period of time. And the effects would only be felt after the age of 40 in any case, on a general observation of age groups of most eye patients. The effects of zero gravity on distribution of intra-cranial fluids may well be the likely cause. In any case, the cause-effect is a subject to be studied at a microscopic level with all possibilities... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 30 May, 2012, 17:11
Loss of vision caused by nutritional deficiency ? If that were the reason, much of the developing countries having a population severely malnourished would be blind. Peoples' vision doesn't get affected except if under extreme conditions over a prolonged period of time. Did you read the full article? If so you seem to have missed this: With nutritional deficiencies ruled out, researchers began considering the possibility that polymorphisms, which may be part of the one-carbon pathway, could be causing the vision changes.(My emphasis).
Comment icon #3 Posted by Render on 4 June, 2012, 12:24
Loss of vision caused by nutritional deficiency ? If that were the reason, much of the developing countries having a population severely malnourished would be blind. Peoples' vision doesn't get affected except if under extreme conditions over a prolonged period of time. And the effects would only be felt after the age of 40 in any case, on a general observation of age groups of most eye patients. a big part of the malnourished population DOES suffer from nightblindness, some from complete blindness. And it certainly doesn't take 40 years. Never heard of the phrase that carrots are good for you... [More]


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