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Project Title:  A Simple and Compact Countermeasure for Maintenance and Enhancement of Neuromuscular Control During Spaceflight Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2021 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 08/06/2020  
End Date: 08/05/2022  
Task Last Updated: 07/21/2021 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Valero-Cuevas, Francisco  Ph.D. / Neuromuscular Dynamics, LLC 
Address:  2708 Foothill Blvd 
335 
La Crescenta , CA 91214-3516 
Email: valero@neuromuscular-dynamics.com 
Phone: 323-423-0024  
Congressional District: 28 
Web:  
Organization Type: INDUSTRY 
Organization Name: Neuromuscular Dynamics, LLC 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Lawrence, Emily  Ph.D. CONSULTANT: Neuromuscular Dynamics, LLC 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: July 2021 report: Dr. Emily Lawrence will act in the capacity of Consultant, re-designated from employee status. She remains integral part of the research effort and remains listed in the CoInvestigator field.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC20K1585 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Stenger, Michael  
Center Contact: 281-483-1311 
michael.b.stenger@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2019 HERO 80JSC019N0001-FLAGSHIP & OMNIBUS: Human Research Program Crew Health. Appendix A&B 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC20K1585 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor:Risk of Altered Sensorimotor/Vestibular Function Impacting Critical Mission Tasks (Revised as of IRP Rev M)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM-201:Development and ground testing of postural and locomotion countermeasures, including human factors aids (IRP Rev L)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 8/5/2022 per L. Barnes-Moten/NSSC (Ed., 8/2/21)

Task Description: Sensorimotor control is vital for performance of mission-critical tasks in microgravity and on planetary and lunar surfaces. During the limited time available to them, astronauts rely on exercise to mitigate sensorimotor performance decrements during and after spaceflight. However, exercise mostly addresses decrements in strength and multi-joint coordination.

Neuromuscular control enables dynamic interactions with the environment via fast subcortical responses. We propose that the patented Leg Dexterity System can uniquely enhance neuromuscular control and thus, greatly complement and amplify the efficacy of exercise as a countermeasure to neuromuscular performance decrements during and after spaceflight.

In this project we will quantify dynamic stability and neuromuscular control before and after an 8-week strength and conditioning regimen (24 total training sessions) augmented with Leg Dexterity System training during each session. This ground-based demonstration of the efficacy of the Leg Dexterity System will motivate and justify spaceflight analog studies to evaluate its further development as a much-needed sensorimotor-based countermeasure.

Multiple peer-reviewed successes support our fundamental claim that exposure to dynamic foot-ground interactions via the Leg Dexterity System will translate to improvement in sensorimotor control. Thus, we propose the Leg Dexterity System has reasonable and strong potential to serve as a training tool for sensorimotor control as per the following Hypotheses:

Main Hypothesis: Supplementing an 8-week strength and conditioning regimen with the Leg Dexterity System increases dynamic stabilization and neuromuscular control abilities.

Secondary Hypothesis: Despite the sex differences in dexterity levels we have reported in the past, there will be no sex difference in the amount of improvement in dynamic stabilization and neuromuscular control abilities.

Deliverables: Scientific/Technical foundation for the simple and compact Leg Dexterity System at Countermeasure Readiness Level (CRL) 6.

Human Research Roadmap Gap Addressed: SM-201:Development and ground testing of postural and locomotion countermeasures, including human factors aids (July 2020). [Previously CBS-SM28: Develop a sensorimotor countermeasure system integrated with current exercise modalities to mitigate performance decrements during and after spaceflight.]

Our team consists of Dr. Valero-Cuevas (Principal Investigator) who is a professor of Biomedical Engineering and of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, inventor of the Leg Dexterity System and Founder of Neuromuscular Dynamics, LLC. His PhD in Mechanical Engineering is from Stanford University. Dr. Emily Lawrence (Co-Investigator) has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from USC, and is Researcher and Trainer at the Nike Sports Research Laboratory. Formerly, she was Director of Biomechanics at Sports Academy, and Research Engineering at the NASA Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division. [Ed. note July 2021: Dr. Emily Lawrence will act in the capacity of Consultant, re-designated from employee status.]

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Testing whether dexterity can be trained will enable benefits to patients suffering from neuromuscular disabilities, and help train non-impaired individuals to enhance their neuromuscular ability.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2021 
Task Progress: We have completed the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process, acquisition of devices and test equipment, initial recruitment and preliminary testing of 2 subjects.

We were delayed in the start of the progress due to COVID-19 lock-downs and restrictions, and we will ask for a no-cost extension and complete the project in the coming year.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: )  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2021
Project Title:  A Simple and Compact Countermeasure for Maintenance and Enhancement of Neuromuscular Control During Spaceflight Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2020 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 08/06/2020  
End Date: 08/05/2021  
Task Last Updated: 10/18/2020 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Valero-Cuevas, Francisco  Ph.D. / Neuromuscular Dynamics, LLC 
Address:  2708 Foothill Blvd 
335 
La Crescenta , CA 91214-3516 
Email: valero@neuromuscular-dynamics.com 
Phone: 323-423-0024  
Congressional District: 28 
Web:  
Organization Type: INDUSTRY 
Organization Name: Neuromuscular Dynamics, LLC 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Lawrence, Emily  Ph.D. Neuromuscular Dynamics, LLC 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC20K1585 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Norsk, Peter  
Center Contact:  
Peter.norsk@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2019 HERO 80JSC019N0001-FLAGSHIP & OMNIBUS: Human Research Program Crew Health. Appendix A&B 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC20K1585 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor:Risk of Altered Sensorimotor/Vestibular Function Impacting Critical Mission Tasks (Revised as of IRP Rev M)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM-201:Development and ground testing of postural and locomotion countermeasures, including human factors aids (IRP Rev L)
Task Description: Sensorimotor control is vital for performance of mission-critical tasks in microgravity and on planetary and lunar surfaces. During the limited time available to them, astronauts rely on exercise to mitigate sensorimotor performance decrements during and after spaceflight. However, exercise mostly addresses decrements in strength and multi-joint coordination.

Neuromuscular control enables dynamic interactions with the environment via fast subcortical responses. We propose that the patented Leg Dexterity System can uniquely enhance neuromuscular control and thus, greatly complement and amplify the efficacy of exercise as a countermeasure to neuromuscular performance decrements during and after spaceflight.

In this project we will quantify dynamic stability and neuromuscular control before and after an 8-week strength and conditioning regimen (24 total training sessions) augmented with Leg Dexterity System training during each session. This ground-based demonstration of the efficacy of the Leg Dexterity System will motivate and justify spaceflight analog studies to evaluate its further development as a much-needed sensorimotor-based countermeasure.

Multiple peer-reviewed successes support our fundamental claim that exposure to dynamic foot-ground interactions via the Leg Dexterity System will translate to improvement in sensorimotor control. Thus, we propose the Leg Dexterity System has reasonable and strong potential to serve as a training tool for sensorimotor control as per the following Hypotheses:

Main Hypothesis: Supplementing an 8-week strength and conditioning regimen with the Leg Dexterity System increases dynamic stabilization and neuromuscular control abilities.

Secondary Hypothesis: Despite the sex differences in dexterity levels we have reported in the past, there will be no sex difference in the amount of improvement in dynamic stabilization and neuromuscular control abilities.

Deliverables: Scientific/Technical foundation for the simple and compact Leg Dexterity System at Countermeasure Readiness Level (CRL) 6.

Human Research Roadmap Gap Addressed: CBS-SM28: Develop a sensorimotor countermeasure system integrated with current exercise modalities to mitigate performance decrements during and after spaceflight.

Our team consists of Dr. Valero-Cuevas (Principal Investigator) who is a professor of Biomedical Engineering and of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, inventor of the Leg Dexterity System and Founder of Neuromuscular Dynamics, LLC. His PhD in Mechanical Engineering is from Stanford University. Dr. Emily Lawrence (Co-Investigator) has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from USC, and is Researcher and Trainer at the Nike Sports Research Laboratory. Formerly, she was Director of Biomechanics at Sports Academy, and Research Engineering at the NASA Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2020 
Task Progress: New project for FY2020.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: )  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2020