The impact of spaceflight on the human body

Understanding the effects of spaceflight on humans is essential for their well-being while on missions, but also for their acclimatisation process as they descend back to Earth and encounter different gravity fields. In the early 2000’s NASA began to investigate pharmaceutical countermeasures against space motion sickness – Floris Wuyts and his team conducted this research project. Afterwards, he continued to analyse the vestibular and autonomic system of cosmonauts before and after long duration spaceflight for the SPIN project.  The findings proved that there is a similarity between dizzy patients and astronauts who return from space.  Join Floris Wuyts as he reveals what can be gathered from the neuroplasticity of astronauts and how space medicine practices can also be applied to treat specific vestibular pathologies!

About our speaker

Floris Wuyts

Professor of Medical Physics, Physics and Biostatistics, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Floris Wuyts is a professor of Medical Physics, Physics and Biostatistics at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He works in an otolaryngology department, at the European Institute for ORL-HNS-SBS department of the St Augustinus Hospital in Antwerp. He is tenure professor at the University of Antwerp and currently teaches Medical Physics, Physics and Biostatistics, as well as selected topics at the courses of neuroscience and cardiology. Since 2011, he teaches at King’s College in London in the Master course on Space Physiology and Health. His team was one of the first to unravel the link between the autonomous system and the vestibular system in humans.

Also, they were the first to show the impact of spaceflight on the human brain with the use of advanced MRI methods providing very innovative insights into the human brain functioning. Wuyts created a tool – the SO STONED history taking – an example of pattern recognition methods and clinical practice. He is also a member of 2 Barany Society committees for standardisation of vestibular diagnoses.

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