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Published: February 28, 2018

In March of 2015, American astronaut Scott Kelly embarked on a yearlong expedition to the International Space Station.  His mission brought together 10 research teams from around the nation to accomplish one goal: discover what happens to the human body after spending one year in space.

No one in the United States had ever spent that much time in space. Despite not knowing what to expect, NASA had high hopes that his journey would bring us one step closer to sending astronauts to Mars. More an experiment than a mission, Kelly underwent ongoing tests, tracking vitals, and reporting changes to his body on a regular basis for over 300 days.

Not only did Kelly become an experiment, but his twin brother Mark Kelly became a part of the study as well. Mark stayed on earth as the “control subject” where researchers tested both bodies to compare what changed physiologically and psychologically. The second phase of these studies was released a few weeks ago, showing that prolonged duration in space causes long-term genetic changes to the immune system, DNA repairs, and bone formation networks.

Dr. Jean Sibonga Ph.D. is the Science Lead at the NASA Johnson Space Center for Bone and Mineral Studies and was one of the Doctors assigned to the Twin Brothers expedition, as the experiment was called. Her findings regarding the skeletal health of Scott Kelly is groundbreaking for the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the physicians who provide treatment for Osteoporosis, nationwide. Dr. Sibonga is a keynote speaker at the 2018 Interdisciplinary Symposium on Osteoporosis and will be sharing the collective data that describes the skeletal effects of spaceflight.

This new data suggests that the changes to the hip during long-term spaceflights could put astronauts at risk for premature osteoporosis. Sibonga will be sharing information and data from the Johnson Space Center that advocates for a bio-mechanical approach to assessing fracture risks in astronauts.

ISO 2018 is the country’s leading clinical conference on osteoporosis and bone health. ISO  will be hosting expert lead in-depth courses on all aspects of skeletal health assessment, osteoporosis diagnosis, and patient management. The Conference will take place May 17th – 19th, 2018, in New Orleans and will be offering the opportunity to earn the Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) Certificate of Completion. Visitors will also be able to learn from pervasive case studies including The Bone Loss: A Space Odyssey by Dr. Jean Sibonga, and healthcare providers will have the ability to earn 20-25 CME/CE credits.

Tens of millions of Americans are suffering from osteoporosis and low bone mass, it is imperative that we learn the latest information on diagnosis, prevention, and management of patients’ bone health. Learn more about ISO 2018 and how to register to attend today here.

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