EVIDENCE: Space Takes Toll On Human Immune System

By  //  May 10, 2014

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MEDICINE & SPACE

SPACEDAILY.COM – Evidence is now shining a spotlight on how much space missions take a toll on humans’ immune systems.

Some speculate that space trips involve the development of "heat shock" proteins, which cling to Toll path receptors and cut down the immune system' detectors for finding pathogens. The end result is a small reaction to a possibly huge pathogen risk. (SpaceDaily.com image)

Some speculate that space trips involve the development of “heat shock” proteins, which cling to Toll path receptors and cut down the immune system’ detectors for finding pathogens. The end result is a small reaction to a possibly huge pathogen risk. (SpaceDaily.com image)

At least 29 cases of infectious diseases being contracted on board a spacecraft were reported on during a 2012 study that looked into 106 flights and 742 crew members.

Head colds, fungal infections, and gastroenteritis were just some of the ailments that overtook the participants of the study.

What may be worse is the fact that they are million miles away from home and do not get to have sufficient bed-rest or comfort foods while under the weather.

“The immune system can go on the fritz in space: wounds heal more slowly; infection-fighting T-cells send signals less efficiently; bone marrow replenishes itself less effectively.”

It could be noted as quite an oddity, that space illness does not get the hype that it most likely deserves.

“The immune system can go on the fritz in space: wounds heal more slowly; infection-fighting T-cells send signals less efficiently; bone marrow replenishes itself less effectively; killer cells – another key immune system player – fight less energetically,” states a 2012 piece published by Time.

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