Press Release

Canada Takes Part in International Study on Consequences of Prolonged Bed Rest

By SpaceRef Editor
June 7, 2003
Filed under , ,
Canada Takes Part in International Study on Consequences of Prolonged Bed Rest

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the
Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) have created
opportunities for Canadian researchers to take part in a study that will
hopefully shed light on the physiological changes occurring during long-term
bed rest. These changes, such as the loss of bone and muscle mass, are
similar to those seen in astronauts during space flights, in patients
affected by certain diseases and in aging people.

"We often use the space environment to study aspects of life on Earth. But
in this case, we are using an Earth model to better understand the bone and
muscle loss as well as the cardiovascular de-conditioning experienced by
astronauts in space for long periods", said Dr. Nicole Buckley, program
scientist for Life Sciences at the Canadian Space Agency. "Understanding and
reversing these processes will be critical to any long duration space travel
such as a mission to Mars".

The International Long-Term Bed Rest Study organized by the European Space
Agency (ESA) and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), in
cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),
will specifically test the efficacy of exercise and drug therapy in
mitigating the loss of bone and muscle mass while conserving muscle strength
and aerobic capacity. Approximately 25 female volunteers will participate in
the 60-90 day long-term head down bed rest study.

"Chronic pain, loss of mobility and function, loss of independence and
ultimately a diminished quality of life are common outcomes of a host of
musculoskeletal and connective tissue conditions," said IMHA’s Scientific
Director, Dr. Cy Frank. "The Bed Rest Study promises to provide information
that may contribute to more effective treatment of a broad array of
conditions of bones, joints and muscles such as osteoporosis and

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 with its headquarters situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec,
the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space
Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development
business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the
Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite
Communications; Space Technology; Space Qualification Services; Space
Awareness and Education. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of
the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of
Canadians and humanity.

About the The Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis
The Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis is a virtual Institute
building research linkages and relevant research capacity across Canada.
IMHA supports research in three priority areas: Physical Activity, Mobility
and Health; Tissue Injury, Repair and Replacement; and Pain, Disability and
Chronic Disease. IMHA is one of thirteen Institutes spearheaded by the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

For Further Information on the Long-Term Bed Rest Study please contact:

Doris Ward, Senior Communications Officer

Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis

(403) 210-9899


Monique Billette

Senior Media Relations Officer

Canadian Space Agency

(450) 926-4370


SpaceRef staff editor.