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Bed Rest Standard Measures: Psychological Stress Measures (BRSMPSYCH)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Behavior and performance
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Prolonged exposure to reduced gravity, physiological stress or other factors associated with space flight may result in immune system dysregulation. Latent herpesvirus reactivation, a measurable result of dysregulated immunity, has been detected in crewmembers during and immediately following space missions.

In the investigator's previous studies of astronauts, investigators found altered peripheral leukocyte distribution, altered cytokine production profiles, elevated levels of latent viral reactivation and elevated levels of cortisol during or immediately following long and short duration space flight. In addition, significant increases in stress hormones (i.e., cortisol, catecholamines) were found after landing. Notably, investigators found increased shedding of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV), two medically important herpesviruses, during space flight along with evidence of decreased cellular immunity. These increases in stress hormones directly correlated with CMV and EBV reactivation. Thus, latent herpesvirus reactivation in these astronauts may have resulted from both direct (i.e., stress hormones) and indirect (i.e., decreased immune function) mechanisms stemming from launch and landing acceleration. These results underscore the need to determine the causes underlying immune suppression in space in order to develop countermeasures.

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Crucian BE, Stowe RP, Mehta SK, Yetman DL, Leal MJ, Quiriarte HD, Pierson DL, Sams CF. Immune status, latent viral reactivation, and stress during long-duration head-down bed rest. Aviat Space Environ Med 2009; 80(5, Suppl.):A37-44.[]

Immune system
Stress, psychological/immunology
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
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PANAS Negative Score
PANAS Positive Score

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Campaign 3 02/20/2005 04/14/2010 5 years, 1 month, 25 days
Campaign 5 04/30/2006 12/23/2007 1 year, 7 months
Pilot 02/05/2006 12/22/2006 320 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Jessica Keune
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)