Sinai Hospital to Help NASA Study Effects of Spaceflight on Astronauts

Sinai Hospital is going into space!

Okay, not literally. But research that will be going on at The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute (BSI) may one day help keep astronauts on space missions healthy.

The BSI has been awarded one of 29 grants by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) and NASA's Human Research Program to help investigate questions about astronaut health and performance on future deep-space exploration missions. The approximately $1 million grant from NSBRI will fund a three-year project, which will be led by Michael A. Williams, M.D., medical director of the BSI.

One of the things NASA is investigating is the vision problems astronauts experience during long-term spaceflight. These problems have been linked to elevated spinal fluid pressure, also known as ICP (intracranial pressure), caused by the low gravity conditions in space. The project at the BSI will assess the accuracy of two noninvasive methods of measuring spinal fluid pressure as compared to measuring ICP via spinal tap.

(Complex medical terminology note: The two methods being tested are tympanic membrane displacement (TMD) and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE).)

The project will play an important role in the validation of these methods of measuring ICP in a low gravity environment. This is particularly important because invasive procedures such as a spinal tap are not possible in space. Currently, noninvasive measurement methods are not accurate enough to allow doctors to make crucial diagnostic and therapeutic decisions for astronauts in spaceflight.

The study will be conducted on human patients aged 18 to 65 years who require continuous ICP monitoring and who have agreed to participate in the project.

Projects like these are very important. NASA is planning a manned mission to Mars for sometime in the 2030s. And there are many things the agency has to figure out before such a mission is attempted.

We are excited to see how the study goes for the BSI!

For further information on this project, visit the BSI's project page here.

-Noel Lloyd

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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    lifebridgehealth: "Emergency care has always been a staple service at #SinaiHospital. Today, our ER and Trauma Center are among the best in the state. Happy 150th anniversary, Sinai!"
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    lifebridgehealth: "“Teamwork is our motto and that is how we function each day,” says Nurse Manager Michele Stiller of the Northwest Center for Wound Care and Hyperbarics. This center, which sees about 500 patients every month, helps patients with chronic non-healing wounds, such as pressure ulcers and complicated surgical wounds. #TeamLifeBridge"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to our four #SuperStar employees for June! Your hard work and commitment to #TeamLifeBridge is truly inspiring. Thank you for all that you do. (From top left to bottom right: Charles Nehwah of #SinaiHospital; Rolawn Patton of #NorthwestHospital; Rachel McDaniel of #Levindale; and Laura Lehman of #CarrollHospital)"
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Photo and data credit: @american_heart"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Averaging 150 to 200 patients a day with conditions ranging from acute sprains and strains to chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, the team at the BW Primary Care of Eldersburg works to provide personalized, effective, and high quality care for the #CarrollCounty #community. We appreciate your hard work, thank you! #TeamLifeBridge #LifeBridgeHealth #healthcare #employeeappreciation #Maryland #Medicine #healthyliving"
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    lifebridgehealth: "#SinaiHospital is embracing innovation and looking to the future! Maryland Commerce Secretary R. Michael Gill (second from left) recently visited Sinai Hospital learn more about our BioIncubator, new laboratory space in the hospital created in the hopes of fostering collaboration between start-up companies and Sinai's health experts. In this photo (L-R): Martha Nathanson, vice president of government relations and community development for LifeBridge Health; Secretary Gill; Amy Perry, president of Sinai Hospital and executive vice president of LifeBridge Health; and Neil Carpenter, vice president of strategic planning for LifeBridge Health. #Maryland #Baltimore"
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