The researchers examined changes in gastric myoelectric activity during space flight, and reported their results in the August issue of Digestive Diseases and Sciences.
Electrogastrography was used to assess postprandial myoelectric activity of the stomach and gastric activity associated with space motion sickness.
Three NASA crewmembers participated in the investigation.
Pre-flight, the 3 individuals displayed normal postprandial responses to the ingestion of a meal.
| Changes in frequency of gastric slow wave associated with space motion sickness.
| Digestive Diseases and Sciences |
In-flight, crewmembers exhibited an abnormal decrease in the power of the normal gastric slow wave after eating on flight day 1. However, by flight day 3 they had a normal postprandial response.
Prior to and during episodes of nausea and vomiting, the electrical activity of the stomach became dysrhythmic, with 60-80% of the spectral power in the bradygastric and tachygastric frequency ranges.
Researcher Deborah L. Harm, of the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, said on behalf of her colleagues, "These findings indicate that gastric motility may be decreased during the first few days of space flight."
"Furthermore, changes in the frequency of the gastric slow wave associated with space motion sickness symptoms are consistent with those reported for laboratory-induced motion sickness," she concluded.