Long stay in space affects the structure of the brain.
An international group of scientists said that a long stay in space (about six months), affect the structure of the brain. The amount of white and gray matter decreases, and the cerebrospinal fluid increases.
In the study, researchers examined brain structure 10 astronauts with the help of MRI scans, which they took to flight, immediately after and several months after returning to Earth. All participants of the experiment conducted in microgravity on average 189 days.
Researchers found that, compared with the structure of the brain before the flight, after the flight, the astronauts experienced a decrease in volume of gray matter in the right middle temporal gyrus 3.3%, but this figure dropped back to normal (the difference in volume was about 1.2%). Reduction of white matter was negligible and was observed only immediately after the flight, but scientists have discovered the increase of cerebrospinal fluid in a few months after the flight.
According to the researchers, they discovered changes can explain the causes of the violations that were found after space flight, for example, vision problems due to swelling of the optic disc. However, in order to establish such a relationship, further research is needed.