Friday, May 18, 2018: Friday Keynote -- Bone Loss: A Space Odyssey
Dr. Jean Sibonga
Ph.D., Science Lead, Bone and Mineral Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center
The collective data describing the skeletal effects of spaceflight suggest that the changes to the hip during prolonged spaceflights could put astronauts at risk for premature osteoporosis. NASA Johnson Space Center [JSC] measures areal bone mineral density (aBMD) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) on a triennial basis in all active astronauts to monitor skeletal health. DXA scans are also performed in astronauts before/after spaceflight durations > 100 days to assess for T-scores < -2.0 for hip and spine. As precious as this dataset is, areal BMD is insufficient for understanding fracture risk in a younger-aged cohort exposed to novel insults to the skeleton (e.g., microgravity, radiation).
Jean D. Sibonga, Ph.D., Science Lead, Bone and Mineral Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center will share insights and information on The Bone Discipline at JSC, which is advocating for a biomechanical approach to assessing fracture risk in astronauts and the use of bisphosphonates during spaceflight to mitigate fracture risk in astronauts after return to Earth. These approaches are especially critical with multiple one-year missions planned for the International Space Station (ISS) and with future missions into deep space.