Space motion sickness, a disorder which produces symptoms similar to those on Earth, has affected half of the astronauts and cosmonauts exposed to microgravity. Symptoms can be severely debilitating and a solution to this biomedical problem is a high priority for the safety end effectiveness of spaceflight. The objective of this study was to develop a method of training people to control their own motion sickness symptoms. The method of treatment is Autogenic Feedback Training (AFT). It is a combination of biofeedback and Autogenic Therapy which involves training physiological self-regulation as an alternative to pharmacological treatment. By studying the physiological and behavioral responses to microgravity, it may be possible to facilitate adaptation to the spaceflight environment.
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Preflight baseline data were collected including: 2 resting baselines, 1 KC-135 flight, 1 reclining baseline in 1g mockup, 2 mission simulations, 12 formal AFT sessions, 3 rotating chair tests, 8 follow up AFT practice sessions and 1 baseline session at L-10 days. Inflight data collection included: continuous daytime monitoring on mission days 0 through 2, timelined and symptom- contingent diagnostic sessions, and timelined and symptom-contingent AFT sessions. Post flight data collections consisted of 10 minute debriefing with each crewmember on the day of landing, and a 2 hour debriefing 14 days post flight.
Results were collected across several different missions, however flight data were collected for only 6 crewmembers (3 treatment and 3 controls). The experiment was cancelled before validation could be completed on N=16 (8 treatment and 8 controls) as originally proposed. The flight results showed 2 of the 3 AFTE subjects were symptom free, the third had moderate symptoms on the first mission day. None of the AFTE subjects took medication during the flight. Two of the Control subjects experienced multiple vomiting episodes on the first 3 mission days, despite having taken medication. The third experienced only mild symptoms. It was concluded that that AFT is effective for controlling space motion sickness in some crewmembers, and that inflight effectiveness is related to demonstrated learning ability preflight. Autonomic measures and self-assessment scales are an effective method for assessing effects of microgravity on individual crewmembers functional state.
Bergner D, Eodice M: Autogenic Feedback System-2 (AFS-2) User Manual. NASA Tech Brief, Document Number: A9SP-8803-D100 , 1995.
Cowings PS, Toscano WB, Miller NE, Pickering TG, Shapiro D: Autogenic-feedback training: a potential treatment for post-flight orthostatic intolerance in aerospace crews. Clinical Autonomic Research, Abstract, vol. 4, 1994, pp. 197.
Cowings PS, Toscano WB, Miller NE, Pickering TG, Shapiro D: Autogenic-feedback training: a potential treatment for post-flight orthostatic intolerance in aerospace crews. Journal of Clinical pharmacology, vol. 34 , 1994, pp. 599-608.
Cowings PS, Toscano WB, Miller NE, Pickering TG, Shapiro D: Autogenic-feedback training: a potential treatment for post-flight orthostatic intolerance in aerospace crews. NASA TM - 108785 , 1993, pp. ill.
Cowings PS, Toscano WB, Sekiguchi C, Ishii M: Preflight autogenic-feedback training for the control of motion sickness: Spacelab-J [abstract]. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, vol. 64 (5), May 1993, pp. 431.
Cowings PS, Toscano WB: Autogenic-feedback training (AFT) as a preventative method for space motion sickness: background and experimental design. NASA TM - 108780 , 1993, pp. ill.
Cowings PS, Toscano WB: Monitoring and correcting human autonomic function during long-term adaptation to microgravity. The annual meeting of the American Autonomic Society and Clinical Autonomic Research Society, Toronto, vol. 6(5), October, 1996, pp. 305.
Kellar MA, Folen RA, Cowings PS, Toscano WB, Kisert GL: Autogenic-Feedback Training Improves Pilot Performance During Emergency Flying Conditions. NASA Technical Memo - 104005; Flight Safety Digest , July 1993.
Stout CS, Cowings PS: Increasing accuracy in the assessment of motion sickness: a construct methodology. NASA TM - 108797 , 1993, pp. ill. [NTRS]
Stout CS, Toscano WB, Cowings PS: Reliability of autonomic responses and malaise across multiple motion sickness stimulation tests. NASA TM 108787, vol. 7, 1993, pp. ill. [NTRS]
Toscano WB, Cowings PS, Miller NE: Autonomic responses to microgravity. Clinical Autonomic Research, vol. 4 (4), 1994, pp. 220.
Toscano WB, Cowings PS: Heart rate variability during early adaptation to space (abstract). Clinical Autonomic Research, vol. 4 (4), 1994, pp. 220.
Toscano WB, Cowings PS: Heart rate variability of humans in space [abstract]. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, vol. 64(5), May 1993, pp. 430.
Toscano WB, Cowings PS: The effects of autogenic-feeback training on motion sickness severity and heart rate variability in astronauts. NASA Tech, Memorandum 108840 , 1994. [NTRS]
Activity, conductance, Skin, human, Sensor, recorder, mho
Activity, Electrocardiogram (ECG), human, Biobelt, recorder, display
Activity, pulse, Finger cot sensor, recorder, pulses/minute
Respiration, rate, Human, Chest expansion monitor, recorder
Response, acceleration, X axis, head, human, Rotation device, multiple sensors, recorder
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Response, acceleration, Y axis, head, human, Rotation device, multiple sensors, recorder
Response, acceleration, Z axis, head, human, Rotation device, multiple sensors, recorder
Skin conductance level
Temperature, Skin, human, Ring sensor, recorder, computer
Temperature, Skin, Human, Sensor, recorder, computer
Volume, Blood volume pulse, cardiovascular, human, Instrumentation