Visual Impairment and Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) – an emerging health issue in Space


Thursday 15 October 11:30 – 13:30

Small Dulzin Hall




Altered vision in the majority of astronauts has recently been discovered after 6-month missions on board the International Space Station. Structural eye changes in combination with widened optic nerve sheaths and posterior globe flattening, suggesting that the condition is associated with increased intracranial pressure. Clinical experience indicates that the VIIP syndrome manifestations may not be reversible, and the possibility of irreversible damage to the brain has not been fully explored. Therefore this emerging condition is considered a novel, substantial obstacle in the deployment of long-term human space missions.
The present session will provide an overview of possible mechanisms that may cause the condition, and demonstrate the research strategy that is currently used to address the VIIP issue. In an integrative manner, evidence will be linked from in-flight data, parabolic flight experiments, and ground-based analog research. Moreover, international partners have united in order to jointly provide evidence and identify suitable countermeasure strategies. This effort is reflected by the speaker list of the event, which involves an international and multi-disciplinary consortium.


Organized by:

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI)
DLR_b70819 nsbri_smalllogo


Eric Bershad Eric Bershad


Baylor College of Medicine

Dorit Donoviel Dr. Dorit Donoviel
Baylor College of Medicine
Center for Space Medicine

Hanspeter Esriel Killer Hanspeter Esriel Killer
Director of the Department of Ophthalmology
Head of Neuroophthalmology
Kantonsspital Aarau
Benjamin Levine Benjamin Levine

M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., F.A.C.S.M
Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine S. Finley Ewing Jr.
Chair for Wellness Texas Health Presbyterian
Dallas Harry S. Moss Heart Chair for Cardiovascular Research
Professor of Medicine and Cardiology
Karina Marshall-Bowman Karina Marshall Bowman
MSc, DLR, PhD student,
Division Space Physiology
Institute of Aerospace Medicine
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Jörn Rittweger Jörn Rittweger
Head of Division Space Physiology
Institute of Aerospace Medicine
German Aerospace Center