Space medicine: what it gives to those who walk the earth

Space medicine: what it gives to those who walk the earth

We are talking about this with the scientific director of the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBMP), Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences Anatoly Grigoriev.


- This year you became a laureate of the "Calling" award. For an unusual method of treating cerebral palsy - with the help of cosmonaut suits. Who came up with this idea?

- Astronauts working in zero gravity have neither support nor weight, their physical activity is limited. During the flight, their muscles atrophy. In zero gravity, the load on the bones decreases, calcium is washed out from the bones, and they become fragile. The vestibular apparatus perceives top-bottom in a different way than on Earth.

We understood that in space it is necessary to create something that is not in zero gravity: weight, loads on muscles and skeleton, support. A special suit for astronauts - "Penguin" was developed. It contains a system of cords that pull a person down, and he wants to straighten up and is forced to strain his muscles. Then they made a support: they pumped air into the sneakers under pressure. Later they learned to make support differentiated for different zones of the foot. The cosmonauts not only regained their muscle strength and coordination, but also the vestibular apparatus "started working".

The idea that all this can be applied on Earth did not occur to us then. But in the early 90s, Ksenia Aleksandrovna Semenova, a well-known neurologist who worked with children with cerebral palsy, came to our institute and asked if it was possible to try our costumes for treating her patients. Professor Inessa Kozlovskaya and I explained to her what loads the suit gives, and Ksenia Aleksandrovna told about her patients, showed a film. And we decided to give it a try. At the Zvezda factory they made suits of small sizes - “Adelya”. They allowed the children to feel the pose. After that, the children not only took their first steps, but also began to speak. Because the centers of movement and the centers of speech are located in the brain next to and are interconnected.

Professor Semenova has created about fifty centers for the treatment of cerebral palsy in the country. She founded a school where doctors were taught this technique. The method went to Poland, to Israel ... And now such a suit is also used in the treatment of strokes, craniocerebral injuries, those numerous neurological pathologies that are accompanied by disorders of the motor sphere.

So it's wrong to reduce everything to cerebral palsy. The award was given to a large team of scientists, doctors and engineers "for the introduction of space technologies into rehabilitation practice."

The Four Rules of Health

- Is the cosmonaut's suit the main thing that space medicine has presented to the earth?

- No, the main thing is that space medicine was the first to talk about the health of a healthy person. When do we go to the doctor? When we get sick. And we have to go when nothing hurts yet. Our institute now has a Clinic for a Healthy Person. We are interested in the health of those who have not yet fallen ill. The level of health is determined by the reserve capacity of the body. All diagnostics are based on functional loads. You come across them when you come to the cardiologist. Pedal on an exercise bike while you are being examined. We have a load test for each system. We have developed standards for age, sex, regions - one thing is the norm in the mountains at an altitude of 5 thousand meters, another thing - in the desert. It is desirable that a person fit into their norms for gender and age. The program undersigns how to come to this norm. The man did some push-ups, squatted, walked around, ran, took an ECG for him, took blood to determine 12 indicators and said: here you are doing well, "everything is green" according to the traffic light method, but here, in a part of the spine, it is yellow, and in some physical activity - red, this is already dangerous, a special examination is needed.

In this way, we examined about 600 thousand children around the country aged 7 to 18 years. One unified method. Why do we take Academician Alexander Baranov, the country's chief pediatrician, as our allies? Because you need to start thinking about preserving your health not at the age of 40-50. We need to work with children. Now the biggest problem for schoolchildren is the spine. Everyone is sitting incorrectly, everyone has scoliosis. As soon as they start working on a computer, many have vision problems. We examine the child, invite his mother, give them recommendations. Six months later, we look again to determine whether our appointments are effective or not. We teach children self-control, we ask them to write down all the results of classes in a diary. Our system is built on positive reinforcement.

Space medicine: what it gives to those who walk the earth

SpaceX aligns Starlink: The Great Cosmic Internet Equilibrium

Are space tourists ready for this?

Space does not love us and can severely punish us. Although, it would seem, what is it? Well, we have established space tourism. Well, we decided to see a world that we haven't seen until now.

As one researcher said, space is an unforgiving environment that does not tolerate human error and technical failure.

Among the ecumenical dangers already known to the whole world, it is worth remembering the meteorites that hammer on the ISS like a tin can, failure of engines, the possibility of getting lost, damage to life support systems.


Our body lives and functions as it should, only thanks to the earth's gravity. Well, microgravity can significantly reduce human performance. At home, our heart works so that the blood from the legs rushes to the upper organs. In conditions of practically zero attraction, blood will rush to the head, the face will swell, the pressure will go off scale a hundred percent. Oxygen delivery to all tissues will be difficult. I don't even want to imagine what all this threatens.

Plus, muscle tissue will begin to atrophy, bones will weaken. Even now, with such a short stay on the ISS, astronauts can lose up to twenty percent of their bone density, but gain a large amount of calcium in their blood. Only the technology of creating artificial gravity can save.


Radiation and cosmic extreme heat and extreme cold are no less dangerous, when the temperature can drop almost to absolute zero and rise to the point that a person can turn into a perfectly fried carcass.

Radiation can trigger the development of cancer. On Earth, the maximum dangerous for the body is a hundred millisieverts. And the interdimensional index reaches six hundred. Only on the ISS, the radiation level is twice as high as our planetary. So travelers to Mars should know that there is a thirty percent risk of developing cancer.

Explosions from the formation of supernovae and crumbling old stars are also being studied intensively. The rays, as scientists believe, are capable of charging human tissue. Under the influence of the charge, DNA destruction begins. This can lead to cancer and mutations.

How to protect yourself? Some see the future in water and plastic screens. Others suggest that it is much better to work on creating plasma screens, where, thanks to the magnetic field, the number of passing particles is minimized.

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