Effects of five days of bed rest with intermittent centrifugation on neurovestibular function
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
The Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions
, p. 60-68
University of Antwerp
Objectives: We tested whether intermittent short-radius centrifugation was effective for mitigating alteration in balance and gait following bed rest. Methods: Ten male subjects were exposed to 5 days of 6 degrees head-down tilt bed rest with: (a) no countermeasure; (b) daily 1-g centrifugation for a continuous 30-min period; and (c) daily 1-g centrifugation for six periods of 5 min. During and after the bed rest, subjects were asked to scale the severity of neurovestibular symptoms that followed centrifugation or 80 degrees head-up tilt. Following the bed rest, equilibrium scores were derived from anterior-posterior sway while standing on a foam pad with the eyes open or closed while making pitch head movements, and gait was evaluated by grading subjects' performance during various locomotion tasks. Results: At the beginning of bed rest, one single 30-min period of centrifugation induced more severe neurovestibular symptoms than six periods of 5-min centrifugation. After bed rest, although equilibrium scores and gait performance were not significantly altered, subjects felt less neurovestibular dysfunction with orthostatic stress when centrifugation was used. Conclusion: Centrifugation was effective at reducing the severity of neurovestibular symptoms after bed rest, but this decrease was not different between one or multiple daily sessions.