Research: Effects of Galactic Cosmic Radiation on Translationally-Relevant Cognitive Behaviors and Response to Social Stress
Institution: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA
Start date: Aug. 13, 2019
End date: July 31, 2021
Grant Mechanism: Postdoc
Study type: Ground study
NASA Risk Addressed: Radiation
Project: We will be exposing mice to a Galactic Cosmic Ray simulation (GCR) and examining network-dependent behavioral performance on a highly-translational, appetitive touch-screen platform, including a behavioral test battery that can be viewed as analogous to the tests currently used on astronauts aboard the International Space Station. A separate group of mice will be examined for the influence of GCR on their ability to cope with social and physical stress in a validated mouse model of depression. Finally, we will test a promising anti-inflammatory drug’s ability to prevent GCR-induced deficits in cognition and social defeat stress.
This radiation-centric study will provide a model basis for identifying individuals who are resilient to the extreme spaceflight conditions, validate a measure for monitoring behavioral health, determine radiation dose thresholds for behavioral measures in a domain basis and in combination with social defeat stress, all of which will help inform NASA’s risk models for a manned mission to Mars.