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Space flights cause a failure in the immune system of a person

The results of two studies of NASA, recently published in the journal journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research suggest that spaceflight may cause temporary changes in the immune system of crew members who are long time on Board the International Space Station.

Data obtained at an early stage of one of the experiments showed that the distribution of immune cells in the blood of crew members during the flight remained relatively unchanged. However, they found that some cell functions were significantly reduced, while the activity of another cell type, on the contrary, increased. That is, in a sense, the immune system of crew members, it failed.

If the cell activity is suppressed, the immune system cannot adequately react to threats, which can lead to asymptomatic for the virus. If activity is increased, the immune system becomes too sensitive, which can lead to the development of allergic reactions and persistent rashes, as well as reported some of the crew members.

In another study, scientists analyzed blood plasma, measuring the concentration of cytokines – proteins that regulate the immune system.

The study showed that, indeed, the concentration of cytokines in the blood varies,and this is compounded during the long flights. Because of this, scientists have understood, what are the areas of the immune system could fail.

Thus, scientists have not yet determined exactly improve if these changes of the immune system the risk of diseases during space flight. Further research is needed to accurately evaluate these risks.

The authors of the research emphasize that upon completion of the work, space agencies will need to decide on measures of protection of the crew. Perhaps it will be an additional protection from radiation, any change in the diet of astronauts, medications and supplements, or something else.

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