Gap SANS-202: Determine if genetic/metabolic/anatomic dispositions and biomarkers, and sex differences have a contributing role in the development of ocular manifestations.
Last Published:  07/30/21 01:05:31 PM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Open
Description
Present state of knowledge: All astronauts experience a chronic headward fluid shift during spaceflight, yet the expression of SANS findings varies between individuals and at present it is not possible to predict who will present with more severe findings versus those that appear to demonstrate relative protection from developing SANS during 6 month ISS missions. Therefore, unknown factors contributing to individual susceptibility likely interact with, or modify the effects of the headward fluid shift. Variability between individuals in expression of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and resulting biochemistry within the 1-carbon metabolic pathway has been hypothesized to contribute to the individual variability in expression of SANS findings. Data from both astronauts and bed rest subjects suggest there may be a role for genetic variability in SANS, but the total number of SNPs investigated to date is limited. Furthermore, anatomic variability in the structure of the optic nerve head, venous drainage pathways, optic nerve canal opening, and other individual anatomic variability have been proposed to modify the effects of the headward fluid shift on the development of SANS findings.

Research approach: Studies that have been conducted or are planned to be funded include correlations of SNPs, biomarkers, variant baseline anatomy, and vascular and craniospinal compliance, to ocular changes using bed rest and spaceflight platforms. Note: The HFBP Element is conducting similar evaluations with regards to brain changes.
Target for Closure
Identification of individual susceptibilities (e.g. genetic and anatomic predisposition) to ocular changes, and definition of predictive biomarkers.
Mappings
Risk Risk of Spaceflight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS)
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