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Effects of an eight-day space flight on microvibration and physiological tremor



Effects of an eight-day space flight on microvibration and physiological tremor



American Journal of Physiology 273(1 Pt 2): R86-R92



Microgravity was used to study accelerometrically recorded microvibration (MV) and postural tremor (PT) at reduced muscle tone on one cosmonaut before, during, and after an 8-day space flight on the Russian Mir station. MV of the relaxed forearm in the 1 g environment showed the typical 7- to 13-Hz resonance oscillations triggered by the heart beat. In 0 g, these pulsations shifted to below 5 Hz and the waveform became similar to an ultralow frequency acceleration ballistocardiogram. PT of the arm stretched forward showed an irregular waveform in 1 g. In 0 g, the higher-frequency components were reduced and again an ultralow frequency ballistocardiogram emerged. As a control, hand force tremor was recorded as well; it was not affected by the gravity condition. A second-order analog with muscle stiffness (C) as parameter was used to evaluate the measurements. For MV it could be shown that cardiac impacts produce damped resonance oscillations when C is high enough (1 g). At low C (0 g), this resonance phenomenon is essentially filtered out. For PT both neuromuscular and cardiovascular forces produce an irregular output; when C is lowered (0 g) the higher-frequency content is strongly reduced. It is concluded that both MV and PT waveforms are sensitive to musculoskeletal stiffness, such that at the lowest stiffness achieved the cardiac impact dominates. In 1 g, the cosmonaut's data were not significantly different from the results in a control group (n = 6).

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Accession: 008559041

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9249536

DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.1997.273.1.R86


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