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Ageing, fitness and spaceflight: lessons from astronauts for healthy ageing

New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Campus, London

30 Jan Dr. Levine by Chamber_use for lectures Part of Ageing Research at King's (ARK) Lectures

Speaker: Benjamin D. Levine, Professor of Medicine & Cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Space flight causes unique challenges to the cardiovascular system, which depends on gravity to distribute the blood around thee body. Intriguingly, the cardiovascular adaptation to space has many similarities to the ageing process – the heart atrophies and gets stiffer; fitness deteriorates; muscles and bones get weaker. One of the most common ground-based models for spaceflight is bedrest because it recapitulates the loss of head-to-foot gravitational gradients and induces the same confinement and reduced physical activity. Amazingly, data from our lab has shown that 3 weeks of bedrest is worse for the body’s ability to do physical work than 30 years of aging.

In his presentation, Professor Benjamin D. Levine will discuss what we know about the cardiovascular adjustment to spaceflight and bedrest, and offer some lessons for healthy ageing on Earth.

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