The purpose of this proposal is to use non-invasive methodologies (ultrasound) to track changes in venous and arterial compliance in vessels of the head and neck and relate these changes to development of the recently identified VIIP syndrome in astronauts. The study is composed of four research objectives (bed rest, astronaut ground, astronaut flight, and data mining), which encompass three specific aims.
Specific Aim I: To determine whether noninvasive measures of venous and arterial compliance are altered by long-duration space flight exposure in ISS astronauts and whether these changes are related to the development of the VIIP syndrome.
Specific Aim II: Using 14-days of 6 degrees head-down tilt bed rest as a model of space flight, to evaluate the effect of aging on vascular compliance using a subject population similar to younger (25-35 years) and older (45-55 years) astronaut cohorts.
Specific Aim III: To determine whether previous space flight experience or training in high performance jet aircraft predispose astronauts to lower venous compliance and/or the development of the VIIP syndrome (data mining effort).
Data Mining: The data mining study is in progress. The data for use in the data mining study will be provided to the Principal Investigator team by Lifetime Surveillance of Astronaut Health (LSAH). The data that they are requesting is attributable to individual crewmembers to those familiar with the space program. Approximately 20 astronauts have consented to the use of their data without further information required.
Bed Rest: See experiment titled “Effects of Long-Duration Spaceflight on Venous and Arterial Compliance in Astronauts: Bed Rest Study (BEDREST_NaVC)” for background information.
Ground: The International Space Station Medical Project (ISSMP) plan to assist with recruiting astronauts who have never flown or astronaut candidates.
Flight: This experiment was de-selected for flight due to reduced crew time availability.
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