Gap CBS-CNS - 1: Are there significant adverse changes in CNS performance in the context and time scale of spaceflight operations? If so, how is significance defined, and which neuropsychological domains are affected? Is there a significant probability that space radiation exposure would result in adverse changes? What are the pathways and mechanisms of change?
Last Published:  07/31/19 10:05:30 AM (Central)
Responsible Element: Space Radiation (SR)
Status: Open
Description

Initial State of Gap:

Possible acute (within mission) risks to the central nervous system (CNS) from galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar particle events (SPE) are a documented concern for human exploration of space. Acute CNS risks include: altered cognitive function, reduced motor function, behavioral and neuropsychological changes, all of which may affect performance and human health. However, given the lack of human epidemiology data on which to estimate this risk, projection based on scaling to human data, as done for cancer risk, is not possible for CNS risks. Research specific to the spaceflight environment using animal and cell models must be compiled to calculate the magnitude of this risk and to establish validity of the current PEL. Near-term experimental research is focused on 2 to 4 particle types. This will have to be broadened to 6 to 8 types and low dose-rate GCR mixed-fields to be useful for astronaut risk projections.

      

  

Approach: 

Ground-based, peer-reviewed research using cell and animal models will be conducted to acquire necessary knowledge for accurate risk calculation and uncertainty reduction for acute adverse CNS outcome measures due to space radiation exposure. Where feasible, identify biomarkers of disease pathophysiology for use in monitoring adverse acute CNS outcomes and for use in BCM selection as required.

 

 

Interim Steps:

  • Identify appropriate experimental models, paradigms and endpoints for assessment of acute radiation effects on the CNS
  • Determine the dose responses and existence of threshold doses for functional CNS changes using appropriate animal model systems (e.g. rodent, NHP)
  • Identify the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying functional CNS change
  • Broaden initial experiments to investigate a larger number of GCR particle types and energies including mixed fields representative of GCR and different shielding configurations including the Martian surface
  • Broaden initial experiments to investigate effects of dose protraction or fractionation
  • Develop methods for relating animal endpoints to human endpoints using multiple experimental models (e.g. rodents, NHPs, humans).
  • Determine the feasibility of identifying key biomarkers/indexed metrics with functional or pathophysiological process correlations (disease-linked biomarkers)
  • Determine how to relate functional endpoints and key biomarker measurements to potential mission decrements in CNS performance

 

Target for Closure
  • Identify and incorporate standard exposure conditions and reference measures in collaboration with BHP.
  • Quantify the spectrum and dose responses for acute (mission timescale) functional CNS changes from space radiation exposure.
  • Organize CNS reactions to radiation exposure into adverse outcome pathway(s) related to known diseases and biomarkers.
  • Determine the operational significance of adverse changes elicited by mission-relevant exposure.

Mappings
Risk Risk of Adverse Cognitive or Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
Risk Risk of Acute (In-flight) and Late Central Nervous System Effects from Radiation Exposure
You are here! Gap CBS-CNS - 1: Are there significant adverse changes in CNS performance in the context and time scale of spaceflight operations? If so, how is significance defined, and which neuropsychological domains are affected? Is there a significant probability that space radiation exposure would result in adverse changes? What are the pathways and mechanisms of change?
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Documentation:
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