Gap M14: Indentify adjuncts to exercise countermeasures that can be used to better mitigate muscle loss.
Last Published:  07/29/22 01:33:20 PM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Open

Note: Adjuncts may include nutritional supplements, phamaceuticals, novel hardware technologies, etc.

Initial State:
Loss of muscle mass and strength is a clear consequence of unloading during space flight and considerable evidence suggests that resistance exercise can ameliorate this response. Simply refining the resistance exercise program may be a sufficient enough to prevent muscle atrophy, however, this still remains to be determined. There is the possibility that resistance exercise administered as either a bolus or incrementally on a daily or semi-weekly basis maybe insufficient to ever fully make up for the rest of the time per day that a crew member remains in the unloaded state. In such as case, adjuncts to resistance exercise may be required in order to sufficiently protect muscle fitness levels. Examples of adjuncts include nutritional supplements, pharmaceuticals, novel hardware technologies, etc. Alternatively, even if resistance exercise is otherwise fully capable of protecting muscle fitness, it may be possible that adjuncts could be used to improve responses when vehicles constraints prevent the use of physiologically optimal exercise hardware. In this scenario, the adjunct would be used as a trade-off.

Interim Stages:

Identification of adjuncts to be examined
Assessment of countermeasures effectiveness of each candidate adjunct
Assessment of capability of selected adjuncts to reduce the exercise countermeasures need

Human space flight and space flight analog studies will be performed to determine the benefit of adjuncts to exercise countermeasures.

Target for Closure
Identification of logistically feasible adjuncts that improve exercise countermeasures results.
Risk Risk of Impaired Performance Due to Reduced Muscle Size, Strength and Endurance
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Multi-Disciplinary Research Plans

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