Gap IM-403: Test, optimize and validate stress reduction techniques as preventive and mitigative immune dysfunction countermeasures.
Last Published:  11/23/20 11:55:10 AM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Open
Description
Present state of knowledge: It is well established that stress has a profoundly negative impact on immunity in general, and on the prognosis for certain terrestrial diseases. The practice of stress relieving techniques is therefore beginning to move into mainstream medicine, to augment more traditional pharmacological interventions. Anecdotally, several recent ISS astronauts have practiced a defined stress relieving protocol onboard ISS and reported benefits. These techniques have therefore been incorporated into the suggested interdisciplinary countermeasures protocol for deep space missions.

Research approach: Several HRP-funded efforts are underway or in planning phases, and in this area close collaboration is expected between the Human Health Countermeasures (HHC) Element and the Human Factors Behavioral Health (HFBP) Element. An upcoming study funded by the Vermont Space Grant Consortium in collaboration with HRP will explore how hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis activation during times of stress impacts immune competence, potentially leading to latent herpesvirus reactivation and replication. This study will utilize a virtual reality headset-based stress relieving protocol that may be applicable for deep space missions. A ground analog-based study has been initiated in the HERA isolation facility utilizing guided imagery added to analog subjects’ exercise sessions. A study is being planned to take place in the Antarctic Palmer Station that will evaluate an integrated immune countermeasure including stress-reduction measures. An ISS flight study to evaluate the beneficial effects of stress reduction techniques on immune system dysfunction is planned as well.
Target for Closure
Validated stress-reducing countermeasures for prevention/mitigation of immune dysfunction. 
Mappings
Risk Risk of Adverse Health Event Due to Altered Immune Response
You are here! Gap IM-403: Test, optimize and validate stress reduction techniques as preventive and mitigative immune dysfunction countermeasures.
Active
Planned-Funded

Documentation:
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