UCI radiology researcher to aid NASA bone density study

December 10, 2012

A UC Irvine researcher is part of a NASA effort to understand more about bone density loss during astronauts' lengthy stays aboard the International Space Station.

Joyce Keyak, professor in residence of radiological sciences, will employ a technique she created to analyze how microgravity-influenced changes to the might increase astronauts' fracture risk during spaceflight, upon returning to Earth and with subsequent aging.

Using information derived from Keyak's method – which she developed to evaluate risk in the elderly – the research group will produce a database of hip strengths from population studies with subjects the same ages as NASA's astronaut corps and older.

"Astronauts are relatively young, and the database will cover this age range and up, including the elderly and both men and women," Keyak said. "This data will be combined with data from a study in Iceland that measured bone strengths of subjects who subsequently had hip fractures and others who did not have hip fractures."

Findings from this NASA study will inform new bone medical standards recommendations and clinical practice guidelines for reducing occupational health risks in astronauts.

Keyak has participated in previous NASA efforts to develop therapeutic guidelines addressing the risk of early-onset, age-related osteoporosis in astronauts on long-duration . In 2010, she gave a lecture at the Johnson Space Center in Houston on the topic, and she participated in a 2009 study of 13 astronauts who spent four to six months on the – which revealed wide differences in the loss of bone strength.

Explore further: Method for assessing hand bone density may prevent hip fractures

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Yeast infection linked to mental illness

May 4, 2016

In a study prompted in part by suggestions from people with mental illness, Johns Hopkins researchers found that a history of Candida yeast infections was more common in a group of men with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder ...

Molecular Zika study finds possible target for tests, drugs

April 19, 2016

The molecular structure of the Zika virus as seen on x-ray crystallography revealed electrostatic differences in a key protein compared with other flaviviruses that might explain how it infects human cells, according to a ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.