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: "Seeing is believing, and this team from the Krieger Eye Institute definitely "walks the walk" when it comes to supporting our communities. They recently laced up their sneakers to participate in the annual walk to support the @amdiabetesassn. #LifeBridgeHealth #stopdiabetes #diabetes #health #maryland #baltimore"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Today’s the big day! The 12th annual #SaveALimb Fund Fest is underway! Many thanks to our participants and volunteers for their show of support for a very worthy cause—patients in need at the Rubin Institute of Advanced #Orthopedics at #SinaiHospital. We’ll be sharing pictures from today’s event, so stay tuned! #Baltimore #Maryland #giveback"
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The CDC says, "Your best shot is the flu shot." #fluvaccine #fluseason #getyourflushot #healthcare"
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    lifebridgehealth: "@wbaltv11 Baltimore recently interviewed this Eagle Scout who is volunteering his time to help children at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at #SinaiHospital. You can find out why on WBAL-TV's 5pm news on Wednesday, October 11. #Baltimore #Maryland #healthcare #hospital #childrenshospital #eaglescout"
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    lifebridgehealth: "#NorthwestHospital leaders recently welcomed Governor General Sir Rodney Williams of #Antigua and #Barbuda (second from left,) and his delegation to the hospital. Dr. Ronald Ginsberg presented the governor and his wife with a $2,500 gift from the Northwest Medical Staff to support the #hurricane relief effort. Northwest has a longstanding relationship with the American University of Antigua College of Medicine. #hurricanerelief"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Did you know that #SinaiHospital is a Level 2 #trauma center? Following the tragedy in #LasVegas, members of the trauma team spoke with WBAL-TV about how hospitals plan and prepare for emergency events. Watch for the story on WBAL-TV's 5 & 6 pm news. #ER #Emergency #Plan #EmergencyPlan #Prepare #Hospital #Healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth"
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    lifebridgehealth: "A photographer from the #DailyRecord #newspaper captured the great connection that Dr. Aziza Shad has with her patients. The newspaper will honor Dr. Shad on October 18 as an "Innovator of the Year" for her work bringing together so many amazing programs for the children and families at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. #SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Hospital #Healthcare #Children #Health #Maryland #Doctor #Patients"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to Dr. Oscar Taube (center) who was recently recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) with its National AAP Special Achievement Award. Dr. Taube (seen here with members of AAP's Maryland chapter) received this recognition "for distinguished service and dedication to the missions and goals of the academy." The academy also recognized Dr. Taube as "a tireless champion for adolescents."
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