Symptoms of space motion sickness may be due in part to elevation of intracranial pressure resulting from fluid shifts occurring early in flight. An increase in intracranial pressure is first manifested clinically in the retina, as engorgement of veins in the central part of the retina and disappearance of their normal pulsations. The objective of this experiment was to assess intracranial pressure indirectly by observing the diameter and pulsation of retinal vessels.
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The ophthalmoscope in the Shuttle medical kit was used to observe the retinal vessels of 2 subjects on each of 2 missions, on the 3rd day of weightlessness.
No abnormalities were noted. It is possible that abnormalities are more likely to be observed on the first or second day of weightlessness, when the effects of fluid shift may be more prominent. No data were recorded from this experiment.
Thornton WE, Moore T, Pool S. Space motion sickness: characterization and etiology. In: Bungo MW, Bagian TM, Bowman MA, Levitan BM, editors. Results of the life sciences DSOs conducted aboard the Space Shuttle 1981-1986. Houston: Space Biomedical Research Institute, Johnson Space Center, 1987:159-70.
Thornton WE, Moore TP, Pool SL, Vanderploeg J. Clinical characterization and etiology of space motion sickness. Aviat Space Environ Med 1987, 58(9, Suppl.):A1-A8.[
Retinal blood vessels, diameter
Retinal blood vessels, pulsation