Given that future missions will be of considerably longer duration than the current 6 month stays on the International Space Station, information characterizing skeletal muscle contraction is of fundamental importance for sustaining human presence in space and extending the exploration of our Solar System. Speckle-tracking, a new non-invasive ultrasound imaging technique, could allow for an objective and quantitative evaluation of global and regional muscle function. Greater understanding of muscle atrophy acquired through a combination of the use of speckle tracking and a customized analysis program could provide knowledge that would enhance a crew's ability to effectively, reliably and safely complete long-duration mission tasks. After age 50, the muscle mass declines by 1–2% annually and the muscle strength decreases by ∼1.5%. This age-related muscle loss, termed sarcopenia, affects ∼10% of elderly individuals aged 60–70 years. After the age of 80, up to 50% of people can be affected. Muscle wasting is not only a problem in the elderly, but also a consequence of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In the United States alone, there are approximately 12 million cancer patients, 5.7 million heart failure patients, and 15 million chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. The assessment of muscle contractile performance with ultrasound could therefore aid in the diagnosis and management of individuals with muscle-related disorders.More »
|Organizations Performing Work
|Johnson Space Center (JSC)
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