Other regulation systems: Endocrine, Immune and fluid/blood regulation systems
Several other human regulatory systems can be affected in space, either directly by exposure to microgravity and high energy radiation or indirectly secondary to other physiological changes induced by spaceflight. Cardiovascular changes trigger adaptation in the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine and the blood volume regulation system (e.g. kidney activity is increased to reduce plasma volume). Sleep deprivation and psycho-sociological issue can induce stress which will in turn trigger the immune, cardiovascular and endocrine systems.
Integrated health patient care
Research on space human physiology is often performed with an integrative perspective: the human body acting as a whole, none of its individual organ reaction to the new environment can be purely isolated from other systems. Changes at the cellular level, for example in signal transduction, can affect regulatory mechanisms at a higher level or adaptation of the autonomic nervous system secondary to cardiovascular changes can lead to changes at the neurotransmitter level. This challenging aspect on our understanding of human physiology appeals for an integrative approach to conduct research and eventually for a more integrated patient care. For example in the field of oncology an integrated (also named holistic) approach is more and more often applied: the psychological and quality of life aspects are also taken into account for the selection of a particular cancer treatment.
Research & Development
Research in this field is relatively new and the focus is made on the immune system and the various responses to stress (IMMUNO). Experiments performed in the field of Biology for example on human or mammalian cells are also filling the gap to reach a true integrative aspect.
Health related topics: integrative physiology, holistic care, immune - system, endocrine system, autonomic nervous system, stress, kidney, fluid retention.
Last update: 26 April 2017