Last Published:  07/31/19 10:05:30 AM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Open
Description

Initial State of Gap: Changes in brain structure and function may play a direct role in spaceflight-associated sensorimotor deficits, and further may impact the long-term health of astronauts. Previous studies have identified brain structural changes associated with exposure to spaceflight. We do not know if these changes affect sensorimotor function. 

Target for Gap Closure: Link volumetric, structural and functional changes in task-relevant brain structures to potential alterations in: sensorimotor function (as defined in SM2.1 with the exception of gaze control and the addition of vestibular function) and performance of cognitive tasks.

Interim steps:
1.Conduct ground and flight studies to determine if changes in brain structure and function play a direct role in spaceflight-associated sensorimotor deficits.
2.Use animal models to determine if there are structural changes in otoconia as a result of experimental altered gravity conditions.
3.Update the evidence report and NASA standards with information defining the acceptable level of sensorimotor risk based on functional performance thresholds below which task performance is impaired.
4.Use evidence acquired to address sensorimotor gaps SM24 and SM28.

Approach: Use structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI, and functional connectivity MRI brain imaging to measure neurocognitive function. Administer a broad ranging battery of sensory, motor, and cognitive assessments. Correlate changes in brain imaging with changes in the indices of sensory, motor, and cognitive function during and after long duration space flight and long duration space flight analogs. Apply scanning and transmission electron microscopy and microstructural-crystallographic techniques to evaluate the possible mechanisms of otoconia restructuring in response to gravity loading in animals.

Target for Closure
 Link volumetric, structural and functional changes in task-relevant brain structures to potential alterations in: sensorimotor function (as defined in SM2.1 with the exception of gaze control and the addition of vestibular function) and performance of cognitive tasks.
Mappings
Risk Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft/Associated Systems and Decreased Mobility Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Spaceflight
Risk Risk of Adverse Cognitive or Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
You are here! Gap CBS-SM26: Determine if exposure to long-duration spaceflight leads to neural structural alterations and if this remodeling impacts cognitive and functional performance.
Active
Completed
Planned-Funded

Documentation:
No Documentation Available