Space Headaches (Space Headaches) - 03.19.15

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Headaches can be a common complaint during spaceflight. The Space Headaches experiment improves our understanding of such conditions, which helps in the development of methods to alleviate associated symptoms, and improve the well-being and performance of crew members in orbit. This can also improve our knowledge of similar conditions on Earth.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by A. Vein, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom: Space Headaches

Principal Investigator(s)

  • A. Vein, Department of Neurology, Leiden, Netherlands

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • M. D. Ferrari, Department of Neurology, Leiden, Netherlands
  • G. M. Terwindt, Department of Neurology, Leiden, Netherlands

  • Developer(s)
    Information Pending

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    European Space Agency (ESA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Information Pending

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    September 2011 - Ongoing

    Expeditions Assigned

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    It is hypothesized that headaches in microgravity represent a separate entity among the secondary headaches attributed to disorders of homeostasis. Space Headaches aims to:

    • Obtain retrospective post-flight data to allow the evaluation of headache episodes in crew members that have participated in space missions during the past 15 years.
    • Assess the incidence of headache episodes in current crew members.
    • Analyze headache characteristics and classify headaches according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders.
    • Provide the basis for developing future countermeasures for headaches during space flight in order to minimize complaints and optimize the crew member's working ability and the living conditions.


    Information Pending

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    Space Applications
    Headaches during space flight can negatively affect mental and physical capacities of crew members which can influence performance during a space mission. Data from this experiment improve our understanding of such conditions, providing a stepping stone to development of countermeasures to alleviate associated symptoms, thus improving the well-being of our crew members in orbit, and in turn improving astronaut performance.

    Earth Applications
    Headaches are also common on Earth, either as an isolated condition or as one symptom of another medical condition. Improving the knowledge we gather in space of the nature and occurrence of headaches could also provide an insight to associated conditions on Earth.

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    Operational Requirements
    Information Pending

    Operational Protocols
    Information Pending

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    Results/More Information

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    Related Websites
    BBC News--Space Headache a Real Phenomenon
    National Geographic News--“Space Headache” a New Type of Astronaut Affliction?

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