Task The Long-Term Consequences of Spaceflight on Brain and Eye Health
Last Published:  04/20/22 11:43:24 AM (Central)
Short Title: SANS LTH
Responsible HRP Element: Human Health Countermeasures
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Active - Currently funded and in progress
Procurement Mechanism(s):

The key objectives of this study include: 1. Determination of the long-term health consequences of Spaceflight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS) and related ocular changes from long-duration spaceflight; 2. Assess the long-term health consequences of SANS-related brain alterations.

Aim 1: Assess the long-term health consequences of SANS-related ocular alterations.

Consolidate retrospectively collected data relevant to health outcomes of interest of the eye and brain. Retrospective data will include optical coherence tomography (OCT)–derived total retinal thickness and choroidal thickness, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived brain and eye volumetric data, and vascular imaging of the brain and neck vessels including arteries and veins, as available from existing sources (Lifetime Surveillance of Astronaut Health (LSAH)/Life Sciences Data Archive (LSDA)). Prospectively, we will collect pre- and post-flight data for up to 5 years in astronauts on the following set of health outcome measures: (1) functional visual measures (visual acuity, visual fields, electroretinography), (2) neuropsychological cognitive testing, (3) ROBoT-r testing as a representative test of operational performance, (4) biomarkers of cognitive decline (ApoE4, A#42#A#40, and neurofilament light), and (5) MRI brain derived structural and volumetric measurements. These domains are of inherent health concern and focus on relevant functional outcomes that one might predict to be affected by spaceflight-induced changes in brain and ocular performance.

Hyp1.1: Retinal thickening pre- vs. post-flight will predict long-term ocular functional change.

Aim 2: Assess the long-term health consequences of SANS-related brain alterations. Using the same database as generated for Aim 1, conduct a parallel investigation of the long-term effects (up to 5 years) of brain-related changes in long-duration astronauts.

Hyp2.1: IJV flow abnormalities during long-duration spaceflight will predict long-term cognitive changes and MRI volumetric changes in cerebrospinal fluid volume.

Hyp2.2: Brain structural changes pre- vs. post-flight will predict long-term balance and cognitive or operationally relevant performance change.

The lead PI on this study is Brandon Macias ( https://humanresearchroadmap.nasa.gov/Tasks/task.aspx?i=2442 ).  Additional PIs on this study are Mathias Basner  ( https://humanresearchroadmap.nasa.gov/Tasks/task.aspx?i=2555 ), and Rachel Seidler ( https://humanresearchroadmap.nasa.gov/Tasks/task.aspx?i=2545 ).