Task Changes of the optic nerve dura mater in astronauts and SANS (Ethier)
Last Published:  07/30/21 01:05:34 PM (Central)
Short Title: SANS OPTIMA
Responsible HRP Element: Human Health Countermeasures
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Active - Currently funded and in progress
Procurement Mechanism(s):


One SANS hypothesis is that changes in the mechanical properties of the dural ONS can affect the optic nerve head. Another hypothesis is that choroid thickening leads to abnormally large mechanical strains on the anterior part of the optic nerve head.


To use novel analysis methods that the PIs developed to evaluate these hypotheses in existing crew MRIs.


  1. Estimate optic nerve sheath (dura mater) structural stiffness in astronauts after long-duration space flight, and compare to structural stiffness in healthy control subjects.

  2. Correlate optic nerve sheath structural stiffness in astronauts with severity of SANS.

  3. Compute the magnitude of prelaminar retinal ganglion cell biomechanical insult due to choroidal swelling in flight (from pre and postflight OCTs), and correlate with severity of SANS in astronauts.