Feeds

Astronauts suffer 'exploding' space headache

A microgravitational pain in the butt

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Dutch scientists have discovered that a good number of astronauts have suffered "space headache" - a unique condition apparently unrelated to the usual woes of space motion sickness (SMS) and characterised by an "exploding" pain.

Researchers from the Department of Neurology at Leiden University Medical Centre questioned 17 veteran astronauts, of whom 12 admitted they'd endured headaches in space, "yet were headache free back on Earth", as the BBC puts it.

While boffins previously considered such pain a part and parcel of SMS, along with nausea, vomiting and/or vertigo, the dozen sufferers recorded 21 headaches with none of these associated symptoms.

The Dutch teams accordingly concludes that space flights "may trigger headaches without other SMS symptoms in otherwise 'super-healthy' male subjects", and goes on to "propose to classify space headache as a separate entity among the secondary headaches attributed to disorders of homeostasis".

Among the possible reasons for space headache, the researchers consider microgravity a top candidate, since it causes lower blood oxygen and provokes "a shift in the body's fluid towards the brain which would raise intracranial pressure" - either of which could be the culprit.

Lead researcher Dr Alla Vein concluded: "Although headaches in space are not generally considered to be a major issue, our study demonstrated that disabling headaches frequently occur during space missions in astronauts who do not normally suffer from headaches on earth.

"Previous research has shown that astronauts can be reluctant to reveal all the physical complaints they experience in space, so the actual incidence could be even higher than our study suggests."

The team's findings are published in the International Headache Society's journal Cephalalgia. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.