Responsible HRP Element:
Human Health Countermeasures
Active - Task currently funded
In evaluating data collected from the Nutritional Status Assessment Supplemental Medical
Objective (SMO), we have identified elevations in 4 metabolites of the one-carbon metabolism pathway in affected crew members studied to date. These elevations and related data strongly suggest that polymorphism(s) of one or more of the enzymes in this pathway exist(s) in the affected crew members. The incidence of such polymorphisms in the general population is relatively high, and they have been associated on Earth with increased risk of stroke and other cardiovascular, and specifically cerebrovascular, events. Therefore it is within the realm of plausibility, given the number and ethnic background of the affected astronauts, that these polymorphisms could be causing the cerebrovascular and optical medical issues in astronauts. This evidence demands follow-up to more clearly define this relationship. The proposed study will accomplish this. We expect that, at a minimum, the results of the proposed effort will provide a guiding path for other research to be conducted that would allow this problem to be defined and resolved.