Blood samples were tested in five crew members. A study of blood samples taken from Russian cosmonauts before and after a long stay on the International Space Station (ISS) revealed a significant increase in several biomarkers that may indicate brain damage, reports New Atlas. The study was published on the scientific portal JAMA.
Blood was taken from five Russian cosmonauts, each of whom spent an average of 169 days in orbit. Tests were collected before they went into orbit, and then three times after their return.
Five biomarkers that correlate with brain damage were tested in the crew members. Three were found to be significantly elevated after the astronauts returned to Earth - fine polypeptide neurofilament (NEFL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and beta-amyloid. Neurobiologists suggest that increased levels of NEFL and GFAP may indicate a type of neurodegeneration called axonal damage. Measuring NEFL and amyloid beta proteins is being investigated as a way to detect the earliest stages of brain damage associated with Alzheimer's disease. Exactly what might have led to these increases is not yet known, the scientists state. Earlier it was reported that astronauts went to the Israeli desert: there they will live like on Mars. The purpose of the mission is to simulate as accurately as possible the experience of a possible landing on the Red Planet.