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Alterations of functional brain connectivity after long-duration spaceflight as revealed by fMRI
Pechenkova, E. V.; Nosikova, I. N.; Rumshiskaya, A. D. et al.
2019In Frontiers in Physiology, 10 (MAY), p. 23
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Keywords :
Brain plasticity; FMRI; Functional connectivity; Microgravity; Spaceflight; Support afferentation; Support stimulation; Vestibular function
Abstract :
[en] The present study reports alterations of task-based functional brain connectivity in a group of 11 cosmonauts after a long-duration spaceflight, compared to a healthy control group not involved in the space program. To elicit the postural and locomotor sensorimotor mechanisms that are usually most significantly impaired when space travelers return to Earth, a plantar stimulation paradigm was used in a block design fMRI study. The motor control system activated by the plantar stimulation involved the pre-central and post-central gyri, SMA, SII/operculum, and, to a lesser degree, the insular cortex and cerebellum. While no post-flight alterations were observed in terms of activation, the network-based statistics approach revealed task-specific functional connectivity modifications within a broader set of regions involving the activation sites along with other parts of the sensorimotor neural network and the visual, proprioceptive, and vestibular systems. The most notable findings included a post-flight increase in the stimulation-specific connectivity of the right posterior supramarginal gyrus with the rest of the brain; a strengthening of connections between the left and right insulae; decreased connectivity of the vestibular nuclei, right inferior parietal cortex (BA40) and cerebellum with areas associated with motor, visual, vestibular, and proprioception functions; and decreased coupling of the cerebellum with the visual cortex and the right inferior parietal cortex. The severity of space motion sickness symptoms was found to correlate with a post-to pre-flight difference in connectivity between the right supramarginal gyrus and the left anterior insula. Due to the complex nature and rapid dynamics of adaptation to gravity alterations, the post-flight findings might be attributed to both the long-term microgravity exposure and to the readaptation to Earth's gravity that took place between the landing and post-flight MRI session. Nevertheless, the results have implications for the multisensory reweighting and gravitational motor system theories, generating hypotheses to be tested in future research.
Disciplines :
Neurology
Author, co-author :
Pechenkova, E. V.;  National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation
Nosikova, I. N.;  Institute of Biomedical Problems (RAS), Russian Federation
Rumshiskaya, A. D.;  Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Center, Ministry of Health of Russia, Russian Federation
Litvinova, L. D.;  Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Center, Ministry of Health of Russia, Russian Federation
Rukavishnikov, I. V.;  Institute of Biomedical Problems (RAS), Russian Federation
Mershina, E. A.;  Medical Research and Education Center, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation
Sinitsin, V. E.;  Medical Research and Education Center, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation
Van Ombergen, A.;  University of Antwerp, Belgium
Jeurissen, B.;  Imec-Vision Lab, Belgium
Jillings, Steven ;  University of Antwerp, Belgium
Laureys, Steven  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Consciousness-Coma Science Group
Sijbers, J.;  University of Antwerp, Belgium
Grishin, A.;  Research and Testing Center for the Training of Cosmonauts named after Yury Gagarin, Russian Federation
Chernikova, L. A.;  Institute of Biomedical Problems (RAS), Russian Federation, Scientific Center of Neurology, Russian Federation
Naumov, I. A.;  Institute of Biomedical Problems (RAS), Russian Federation
Kornilova, L. N.;  Institute of Biomedical Problems (RAS), Russian Federation
Wuyts, F. L.;  University of Antwerp, Belgium
Tomilovskaya, E. S.;  Institute of Biomedical Problems (RAS), Russian Federation
Kozlovskaya, I. B.;  Institute of Biomedical Problems (RAS), Russian Federation
More authors (9 more) Less
Language :
English
Title :
Alterations of functional brain connectivity after long-duration spaceflight as revealed by fMRI
Publication date :
2019
Journal title :
Frontiers in Physiology
eISSN :
1664-042X
Publisher :
Frontiers Media S.A., Switzerland
Volume :
10
Issue :
MAY
Pages :
23
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funders :
RAS - Russian Academy of Sciences [RU]
FWO - Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Vlaanderen [BE]
BELSPO - Belgian Science Policy Office [BE]
RAS - Russian Academy of Sciences [RU]
NEuropean Space Agency, ESA: ISLRA 2009-1062
Funding number :
Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, FWO: 12M3119
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