Download in PDF pdf     
Fiscal Year: FY 2014  Task Last Updated:  04/04/2014 
PI Name: Lawley, Justin  Ph.D. 
Project Title: Microgravity Induced Visual Alterations and Intracranial Pressure (Postdoctoral Fellowship) 
Division Name: Human Research 
NSBRI--Cardiovascular Alterations Team 
Joint Agency Name:   TechPort:  No 
Human Research Program Elements: None
Human Research Program Risks: None
Human Research Program Gaps: None
Space Biology Element: None
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
PI Email:  Fax:   
PI Organization Type: UNIVERSITY  Phone: 214-345-4729  
Organization Name: The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 
PI Address 1: Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine 
PI Address 2: 7232 Greenville Avenue, Suite 435 
PI Web Page:  
City: Dallas  State: TX 
Zip Code: 75231-5129  Congressional District: 
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  2013 NSBRI-RFA-13-01 Postdoctoral Fellowships 
Start Date: 10/01/2013  End Date:  09/20/2015 
No. of Post Docs:   No. of PhD Degrees:   
No. of PhD Candidates:   No. of Master' Degrees:   
No. of Master's Candidates:   No. of Bachelor's Degrees:   
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:   Monitoring Center:  NSBRI 
Contact Monitor:   Contact Phone:   
Contact Email:  
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment:


Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI:  
COI Name (Institution): Levine, Benjamin  M.D. ( MENTOR/ University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas ) 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-PF03501 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:



Humans have been travelling in space for more than 40 years without clear evidence of visual impairment in astronauts. However very recently, it has been identified that some astronauts on the International Space Station seem to be at risk for visual changes that may be due to elevated pressure inside the head (intracranial pressure). It is well known that there is a relative shift in fluid towards the head in humans during space flight (microgravity) and therefore these changes may increase intracranial pressure to a greater degree than previously appreciated. Intracranial pressure may also be exacerbated or transiently elevated by small increases in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the International Space Station atmosphere and during strength training exercise that is employed to try and maintain astronaut’s muscle mass. Therefore, the primary aim of this project will be to provide novel data about the impact of microgravity induced central fluid shifts on directly measured intracranial pressure, and the associated inflow and outflow of blood to the brain, accompanied by simultaneous assessment of structural changes in the eye. Furthermore, we will examine the above factors during small changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and during strength training exercise in microgravity. This information is entirely unknown and absolutely essential to establishing the pathophysiology of the recently identified visual impairments in some long duration astronauts, so as to develop appropriate countermeasures.


Rationale for HRP Directed Research:


Research Impact/Earth Benefits: This project will have implications for public health and will provide a better understanding of the regulation of intracranial pressure in normal healthy individuals and thus will offer an improved knowledge base to provide effective treatments for a wide range of intracranial disorders.


Task Progress: New project for FY2014.


Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/09/2019) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Petersen LG, Lawley JS, Lilja-Cyron A, Petersen JC, Howden EJ, Sarma S, Cornwell WK 3rd, Zhang R, Whitworth LA, Williams MA, Juhler M, Levine BD. "Lower body negative pressure to safely reduce intracranial pressure." J Physiol. 2019 Jan;597(1):237-48. Epub 2018 Nov 20. ; PubMed PMID: 30286250; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6312426 , Jan-2019
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Lawley JS, Levine BD, Williams MA, Malm J, Eklund A, Polaner DM, Subudhi AW, Hackett PH, Roach RC. "Cerebral spinal fluid dynamics: Effect of hypoxia and implications for high-altitude illness." J Appl Physiol (1985). 2016 Jan 15;120(2):251-62. Review. Epub 2015 Oct 22. ; PubMed PMID: 26494441 , Jan-2016