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Project Title:  Blue Light for Enhancing Alertness in Space Missions Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2012 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 09/01/2006  
End Date: 09/30/2012  
Task Last Updated: 01/15/2013 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Brainard, George C. Ph.D. / Thomas Jefferson University 
Address:  Light Research Program 
1025 Walnut St., Room 507 
Philadelphia , PA 19107-5083 
Email: george.brainard@jefferson.edu 
Phone: 215-955-7644  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Thomas Jefferson University 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
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) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Sleep Gap 05:We need to identify environmental specifications and operational regimens for using light to prevent and mitigate health and performance decrements due to sleep, circadian, and neurobehavioral disruption, for flight, surface and ground crews, during all phases of spaceflight operations (IRP Rev E)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 9/30/2012 per NSBRI (Ed., 1/27/2012)

Task Description: The overall goal of this project is to study the efficacy of blue-enriched solid state polychromatic light for acutely enhancing alertness and cognitive performance in healthy men and women. The purpose of this work is to develop in-flight and ground-based lighting countermeasures for enhancing alertness in astronauts and NASA ground crew.

This is the final year of this directed research project. This year's aims were reduced due to an unexpected funding reduction. The reduced aims were:

1) Continue the three-day inpatient study of narrowband blue solid state light on alertness and cognitive performance: (a). complete neurocognitive and melatonin data analysis (b). initiate analysis of polysomnography data, completing as much as possible with remaining funds.

2) Complete a pilot study on testing the effect of light emitting surface size on melatonin suppression. (a). finish running subjects through the test conditions (b). complete blood assays and data analysis.

3) Write a report on the results on items 1 and 2 above.

Two studies have been previously completed for this project using two prototype 122 cm x 122 cm solid-state blue light (peak wavelength 469 nm) exposure systems. A melatonin suppression study has resulted in a peer-reviewed manuscript published in the Journal of Applied Physiology (West et al., 2011). The second study was a three-day inpatient study on the effects of narrowband blue light from light emitting diodes (LEDs) on alertness and cognitive performance.

Per the first aim above, plasma melatonin, alertness, and neurocognitive performance measures have been analyzed. Polysomnographic data from Karolinska Drowsiness Tests (KDTs) was analyzed from 8 of the 22 subjects. Further KDT analysis was not feasible due to the unexpected funding cut. Two presentations were made at international meetings describing the protocol and the preliminary analysis of the melatonin data set (Hanifin et al., 2010a, 2010b). The completed melatonin, alertness, and neurobehavioral data sets are now being written up as a chapter in a doctoral thesis (Hanifin, unpublished) and subsequently are likely to be published as a peer-review manuscript. Importantly, the experimental 122 cm x 122 cm LED light panels we have used in the first two studies for this project are too large to be flight-worthy, although they could be used for lighting countermeasures for ground crew.

This year's second aim was concerned with testing the consequences of reducing the size of the light-emitting surface to a more flight-worthy size. This pilot study used the acute melatonin suppression response as its dependent variable for quantifying how different size light-emitting surfaces influence this neuroendocrine response. A pilot study protocol was designed and approved by the Jefferson Institutional Review Board (IRB). Two new exposure systems were designed, constructed, and equipped with blue-enriched broad-bandwidth LEDs (6,500 K) for this study. Of note, this blue-enriched LED light source is similar to one of the LED sources being specified for the Solid-State Light Assembly (SSLA) that is being proposed for replacing the current fluorescent General Luminaire Assemblies (GLA) onboard the International Space Station. Eight healthy male and female subjects were recruited, screened, and enrolled in an experiment that employed a within-subjects design. Subjects were seated comfortably with their head resting in an ophthalmologic head holder facing the light source at a distance of 90 cm. The volunteers' pupils were freely reactive during the light exposure that was given between 2:00 and 3:30 AM. Subjects were exposed to a 122 cm x 122 cm exposure area or a much smaller 3.81 cm x 3.81 cm exposure area at an equal surface irradiance and a dark control exposure (with at least one week between each exposure). The volunteers have completed all 24 study nights and their plasma samples have been quantified for plasma melatonin content. The resultant data support the hypothesis that light source size is a critical factor in the design of SSLA lighting that can be used to serve as an in-flight countermeasure for circadian disruption and sleep during long duration space exploration. A follow up study testing a range of light emitting surface sizes including the surface size of the SSLA (approximately 11 cm x 54 cm) was planned but not initiated due to the unexpected funding cut. The ultimate goal from this work is to develop a lighting countermeasure that enhances alertness and cognitive performance in ground crew members and astronauts.

This year's results ultimately will impact the NASA Human Integration Design Handbook and the Space Flight Human Systems Standard, NASA-STD-3001, that provide guidance for supporting crew health, habitability, environment, and human factors in human space flight. Our progress addresses NASA Human Research Program Integrated Risk Plan (2011) risk area 22 (Sleep 5, 9, and 10) Critical Risk areas. These areas concern countermeasures that will optimally mitigate health, performance and safety problems due to circadian, neuroendocrine, and neurobehavioral disruption, for flight, surface, and ground crews.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The knowledge gained from this research, though focused on space flight, also may benefit people on Earth. The circadian disruption experienced by astronauts during space flight can be considered a threat to the success of space missions (Longnecker and Molins, 2005; NASA Human Research Program Integrated Risk Plan, 2011). The resulting physiological and behavioral changes caused by circadian and sleep disruption can lead to diminished alertness, cognitive ability, and psychomotor performance (Dijk et al., 2001). Over 45% of all medications taken in space are sleep aids taken as a measure to counteract sleep deficits (Putcha et al., 1999). Although the studies in this project are focused on developing a non-pharmacological lighting countermeasure for space exploration, it is anticipated that there will be benefits to civilians. A significant portion of the global population suffers from chronic sleep loss and/or circadian-related disorders. Evidence for disease or illness due to a circadian disruption has mounted significantly. Nearly 22 million Americans do shift work that interferes with a biologically healthy nocturnal sleep cycle (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007). Shift workers have been shown to be more likely to suffer from a wide variety of ailments, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal distress, and cognitive problems. Furthermore, epidemiological studies of female shift workers have shown that they are more likely to suffer from breast cancer and colon cancer compared to day shift workers. The World Health Organization has identified shift work as a probable risk for cancer (The International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007). This past year the American Medical Association acknowledged the harmful effects of widespread electrical lighting at night (Council on Science and Public Health Report Report, 2012). Our laboratory is involved in testing the hypothesis that night time exposure to light suppresses melatonin and contributes to cancer risk (Blask et al., 2005; Mao et al., 2012).

Aside from evidence of a breakdown in physical health, the effects of circadian disruption and sleep loss have long been known to have potentially dangerous behavioral effects. Mental fatigue, diminished alertness, loss of psychomotor coordination, and decreased physical performance are all commonly found in individuals with sleep loss, sleep debt, or circadian misalignment. Many people also experience the same effects after air travel across several time zones. The impact of these deficits affects many industries, including transportation, manufacturing, communications, medicine, and homeland security. It has long been a source of concern for the military, as well. In the past, the U.S. Air Force has supported our laboratory to study the acute alerting effects of light (French et al., 1990; Brainard et al., 1996). Our past work for NIH (National Institute of Health) has continued this effort (Lockley et al., 2006).

Existing therapeutic lighting interventions stand to benefit from enhancing our understanding of how different wavelengths of the spectrum affect human circadian and neurobehavioral regulation (Byrne and Brainard, 2012). A more efficient intervention with increased potency and/or fewer side effects could result. One such disorder currently being treated with bright white light is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 Americans suffer from SAD or its milder version, sSAD (Lam and Levitt, 1999). Similar bright white light interventions also are used to treat jetlag. Side effects from exposure to bright white light for these and other therapies include: hypomania, headache, vision problems, nausea, dizziness, and anxiety. Optimizing the light spectrum for specific affective and/or circadian-related disorders could deliver the same medical impact with lower levels of light intensity and, potentially, with fewer side effects. Our group has completed Phase I testing of light therapy with blue solid-state lighting for patients with SAD (Glickman et al., 2006).

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2012 
Task Progress: This is the final year of a directed research project that had reduced aims due to an unexpected funding reduction. The goal is to study the efficacy of blue or blue-enriched white solid-state light for enhancing alertness in men and women as a basis for developing an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts and NASA ground crew. For this project, we have four 122 sq cm solid-state light sources: two with narrow-bandwidth (peak 469 nm) LEDs and two with broad-bandwidth blue-enriched LEDS that emit white-appearing light with a Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) of 6,500 K. These units provide a large, uniform light-emitting surface with intensity modulation. An independent safety analysis of both LED light sources based on national (American Conference of Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)) and international (The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)) criteria has been completed. James Maida of Johnson Space Center (JSC) and Charles Bowen, Ph.D., of Lockheed Martin (retired) have confirmed that the blue LED units meet NASA's safety standards (West et al., 2008).

A melatonin suppression study was conducted with the narrow bandwidth blue LED units to characterize their biological potency and to guide the selection of the light intensity for the multiday alertness study. Healthy subjects (N=8) completed a total of 84 nighttime melatonin suppression experiments. Data analysis was completed showing that the blue LED light evokes a dose-response melatonin suppression, and permitting the calculation of a target intensity for the alertness study. The data also indicate that blue LED light is stronger than 4,000 K white fluorescent light for suppressing melatonin. A peer-review manuscript has been published on these results (West et al., 2011).

Over 300 individuals volunteered to be screened for a 3-day alertness study with the blue LED light units. From that pool of volunteers, 26 subjects completed all medical, psychological, and ophthalmological examinations as well as screens for stability of sleep-wake cycles and drugs of abuse. Of the 24 subjects that entered the study, 22 completed the three-day inpatient alertness protocol. Analysis of plasma melatonin, subjective alertness, objective alertness, and neurobehavioral data was finalized this year. Due to reduced funding, only a partial analysis of polysomnography data was completed. Two presentations have been made at international meetings describing the protocol and a partial analysis of the resultant data set (Hanifin et al., 2010a, 2010b). Preliminary testing of visual performance and color discrimination has been done with selected intensities of the narrow bandwidth blue LEDs with 8 healthy subjects. A pilot study on the consequences of reducing the size of the light-emitting surface to a more flight-worthy size was designed and approved by the Jefferson IRB. Two exposure systems with broad-bandwidth blue-enriched LEDS (6,500 K) were used for this study. Eight healthy male and female subjects completed all 24 nighttime experiments for this study.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 02/10/2021)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard G, Ayers M, Kemp J, Coyle W, Bowen C, Maida J, Bernecker C, Lockley S, Goel N, Mollicone D, Dinges D, Warfield B, West K, Downes M, Hasher D, Whittaker A, Hanifin J. "Lighting countermeasures for sleep and circadian disruption onboard the International Space Station." 2012 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Houston, TX, February 14-16, 2012.

2012 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Houston, TX, February 14-16, 2012. , Feb-2012

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard G, Ayers M, Kemp J, Coyle W, Warfield B, Bowen C, Maida J, Bernecker C, Lockley S, Goel N, Mollicone D, Dinges D, Cecil K, West K, Welsh C, Hasher D, Balaicuis J, Flynn-Evans E, Hanifin J. "Lighting countermeasures for the International Space Station." 24th Annual Meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Geneva, Switzerland, June 24-27, 2012.

24th Annual Meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Geneva, Switzerland, June 24-27, 2012. Program and abstracts, p. 26. , Jun-2012

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Downes M, Ayers M, Welsh C, Kemp J, Warfield B, Hanifin J, Brainard G. "Melatonin suppression using long wavelength-shifted, white-appearing light from the solid-state lighting module in a replica of the International Space Station crew sleeping quarters." 2012 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Houston, TX, February 14-16, 2012.

2012 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Houston, TX, February 14-16, 2012. , Feb-2012

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Hanifin J, Downes M, Welsh C, Kemp J, Warfield B, Ayers M, Brainard G. "A color temperature comparison on melatonin regulation in healthy humans from a solid-state lighting assembly in a replica of the International Space Station crew quarters." 24th Annual Meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Geneva, Switzerland, June 24-27, 2012.

24th Annual Meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Geneva, Switzerland, June 24-27, 2012. Program and abstracts, p. 45. , Jun-2012

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Rahman SA, Brainard GC, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. "Diurnal Modulation in the Spectral Sensitivity of the Acute Alerting Effects of Light." 2012 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Houston, TX, February 14-16, 2012.

2012 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Houston, TX, February 14-16, 2012. , Feb-2012

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Barger LK, Sullivan JP, Vincent AS, Fiedler ER, McKenna LM, Flynn-Evans EE, Gilliland K, Sipes WE, Smith PH, Brainard GC, Lockley SW. "Learning to live on a Mars day: fatigue countermeasures during the Phoenix Mars Lander mission." Sleep. 2012 Oct 1;35(10):1423-35. PubMed PMID: 23024441 , Oct-2012
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Brainard GC, Coyle W, Ayers M, Kemp J, Warfield B, Maida J, Bowen C, Bernecker C, Lockley SW, Hanifin JP. "Solid-state lighting for the International Space Station: tests of visual performance and melatonin regulation." Acta Astronautica. 2013 Nov;92(1):21-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2012.04.019 (originally reported as In Press, Corrected Proof, April 2012), , Nov-2013
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Stevens RG, Brainard GC, Blask DE, Lockley SW, Motta ME. "Breast cancer and circadian disruption from electric lighting in the modern world." CA Cancer J Clin. 2014 May-Jun;64(3):207-18. Epub 2013 Dec 24. Review. http://dx.doi.org/10.3322/caac.21218 ; PubMed PMID: 24604162; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4038658 , May-2014
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals St Hilaire MA, Ruger M, Fratelli F, Hull JT, Phillips AJ, Lockley SW. "Modeling neurocognitive decline and recovery during repeated cycles of extended sleep and chronic sleep deficiency." Sleep. 2017 Jan 1;40(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsw009 ; PubMed PMID: 28364449 , Jan-2017
Awards Brainard GC. "Election to Thomas Jefferson University Faculty Senate, August 2012." Aug-2012
Awards Brainard GC. "Keynote Speaker at Light for Seniors Symposium in Washington D.C., March 2012." Mar-2012
Awards Brainard GC. "Outstanding Research Award from Astronomical League, July 2012." Jul-2012
Awards Hanifin JP. "Philips Student Travel Award to Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Geneva, Switzerland, June 2012." Jun-2012
Awards Hanifin JP. "Young Investigator Travel Award, Gordon Research Conference on Pineal Cell Biology, Galveston, Texas, January 2012." Jan-2012
Books/Book Chapters Byrne B, Brainard G. "Seasonal Affective Disorder." in "Therapy in sleep medicine." Ed. T.J. Barkoukis et al. Philadelphia : Elsevier Saunders, 2012. p. 659-704., Jan-2012
Significant Media Coverage Teitell B. "Dim View of Lighting Law. Dr. Brainard is quoted in this article that builds a positive argument for the changes made by phasing out old light bulbs regarding health and energy efficiency." Boston Globe, April 4, 2011., Apr-2011
Significant Media Coverage Beeler C. "SAD Strikes in the Summer Too. Dr. George Brainard talks to WHYY Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane about people having seasonal affective disorder in the summer." NPR /WHYY Radio, August 2011., Aug-2011
Significant Media Coverage Guthrie C. "The Light-Cancer Connection. An article explaining the ill-effects of a 24/7 lifestyle on the cancer-inhibiting hormone, melatonin. Dr. Brainard's research is described." Prevention, November 2011. http://tinyurl.com/azzkk8l ; accessed 2/3/2015., Nov-2011
Significant Media Coverage Ruiz FP. (Fernando Pages Ruiz) "New Research May Lead to Changes for Residential Lighting. Article discusses efficient and healthy lighting for new interior design, describing Dr. Brainard's research." EcoHome, March 26, 2012. http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/air-quality/new-research-may-lead-to-changes-for-residential.aspx ; accessed 2/3/2015, Mar-2012
Significant Media Coverage Cheney I. "The City Dark. Dr. Brainard describes his NSBRI research in this feature-length documentary film. The film has been selected and shown in numerous film festivals throughout North America and recently broadcast on PBS (July 5th, 2012) and was available streaming on the PBS website (see http://www.pbs.org/pov/citydark/#.UPbw2Yas16Y ; accessed 2/3/15). Media coverage around light pollution and THE CITY DARK, in conjunction with the PBS run, took place in the Chicago Sun-Times, on PBS News Hour, NPR’s Weekend Edition, and on CBS News." PBS. http://www.pbs.org/pov/citydark/#.UPbw2Yas16Y ; accessed 2/3/2015., Jul-2012
Significant Media Coverage Raloff J. "Night Lights May Foster Depression. Scientific article discusses how light regulates mood and behavior outside of biological rhythms; Dr. Brainard is quoted." Science News. 2012 Aug 25;182(4):10., Aug-2012
Significant Media Coverage JMC Alumni Bulletin. "Light Therapy for a Blue Planet and Beyond. Dr. Brainard discusses the differences of white vs blue-enriched light in treating SAD and applications to new light systems on the International Space Station." JMC Alumni Bulletin. 2012 Winter;61(1):14. http://jdc.jefferson.edu/alumni_bulletin/295 , Jan-2012
Significant Media Coverage Kanellos M. "A New Use for LEDs: Mind Control. Dr. Brainard discusses predicted health benefits of upcoming LED lighting in indoor environments, such as in the ISS, and building technology on the biological effects of light." NYTimes Green Blog. October 7, 2011. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/a-new-use-for-leds-mind-control/ ; accessed 2/3/2015., Oct-2011
Significant Media Coverage Kanellos M. "Will LED light Bulbs Help You Fall Asleep? This article discusses resetting the circadian rhythm and how LEDs can help, quoting Dr. Brainard." Forbes. November 2, 2011. http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkanellos/2011/11/02/will-led-light-bulbs-help-you-fall-asleep/ ; accessed 2/3/2015., Nov-2011
Significant Media Coverage Jaffee MK. "When Screen Time Affects Kids Zzz Time. How artificial light and light-emitting devices affect circadian rhythms and alertness in children; Dr. Brainard's research is described." San Antonio Express News. December 13, 2011. http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/article/When-screen-time-affects-kids-zzz-time-2399716.php ; accessed 2/3/2015., Dec-2011
Significant Media Coverage Avril T. "Putting Astronauts to Sleep. In this article, Dr. Brainard explains his NSBRI and NASA research on how a new LED light system on the ISS will benefit the health of astronauts." Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2012., Jul-2012
Project Title:  Blue Light for Enhancing Alertness in Space Missions Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2011 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 09/01/2006  
End Date: 09/30/2012  
Task Last Updated: 10/12/2011 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Brainard, George C. Ph.D. / Thomas Jefferson University 
Address:  Light Research Program 
1025 Walnut St., Room 507 
Philadelphia , PA 19107-5083 
Email: george.brainard@jefferson.edu 
Phone: 215-955-7644  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Thomas Jefferson University 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
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) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Sleep Gap 05:We need to identify environmental specifications and operational regimens for using light to prevent and mitigate health and performance decrements due to sleep, circadian, and neurobehavioral disruption, for flight, surface and ground crews, during all phases of spaceflight operations (IRP Rev E)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 9/30/2012 per NSBRI (Ed., 1/27/2012)

Task Description: The overall goal of this project is to study the efficacy of blue-enriched polychromatic solid-state light for acutely enhancing alertness and cognitive performance in healthy men and women. The purpose of this work is to develop an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts and NASA ground crew.

This is the fifth year of a directed research project. This past year, we have worked on the following seven aims:

1) Publish a peer-review manuscript on the blue solid-state light melatonin suppression bench-marking study.

2) Complete enrolling subjects for the first alertness and cognitive performance study.

3) Complete assay of alertness study samples for melatonin.

4) Do preliminary analysis of polysomnography, subjective and objective alertness, and neurobehavioral test data from the alertness study.

5) Develop a pilot study design on the consequences of reducing the size of the light-emitting surface to a more flight-worthy size and submit a study protocol for Jefferson IRB review.

6) Related to aim 5, design the necessary solid-state light source exposure systems for the pilot study.

7) Related to aim 5, screen, recruit and enter subjects into the pilot study.

During the first four years of this project, we made significant progress in 1) creating two prototype 122 sq cm solid-state blue light (peak wavelength 469 nm) exposure systems for the studies, 2) validating the safety of these prototypes by an independent hazard analysis that met federal (ACGIH), international (ICNIRP), and NASA guidelines for safety of human ocular exposure, and 3) completing a bench-marking melatonin suppression study using the blue light prototype with eight healthy subjects. The melatonin study confirmed that narrowband, polychromatic blue solid-state light suppresses melatonin in healthy subjects in a dose-response manner and enabled the calculation of a target intensity for the initial alertness study.

In terms of the first aim for the past year, we published a peer reviewed manuscript on the blue solid-state light melatonin suppression bench-marking study in the Journal of Applied Physiology (West, 2011).

The second, third and fourth aims are concerned with our first study on the effects of narrowband, polychromatic blue solid-state light on alertness and cognitive performance in healthy male and female subjects. Over 300 individuals volunteered to be screened for the first 3-day alertness study with the blue LED light units. From that pool of volunteers, 26 subjects completed all medical, psychological, and ophthalmological examinations as well as screens for stability of sleep-wake cycles and drugs of abuse. Of the 24 subjects that entered study, 22 completed the three-day inpatient alertness protocol. Analysis of plasma melatonin, subjective alertness, objective alertness, and neurobehavioral data will be finalized this year. Analysis of polysomnography data is in process. Two presentations have been made at international meetings describing the protocol the preliminary data (Hanifin et al., 2010a, 2010b; Ed. note: see FY2010 Task Book Bibliography). Preliminary testing of visual performance and color discrimination has been done with selected intensities of the narrow bandwidth blue LEDs with 8 healthy subjects.

It is important to note that the experimental 122 sq cm LED light panels we have used in the first two studies are too large to be flight-worthy. The fifth, sixth, and seventh aims are concerned with testing the consequences of reducing the size of the light-emitting surface to a more flight-worthy size. The initial pilot study uses the acute melatonin suppression response as its dependent variable for quantifying how different size light-emitting surfaces influence this neuroendocrine response. A pilot study protocol has been designed and approved by the Jefferson IRB. Two new exposure systems have been designed, constructed, and equipped with blue-enriched broad-bandwidth LEDS (6,500 K) for this study. Importantly, this blue-enriched LED light source is similar to one of the LED sources being specified for the Solid-State Light Assembly (SSLA) that is being proposed for retrofitting the current fluorescent General Light Assembly (GLA) onboard the International Space Station. Subject recruitment, screening and enrollment has been initiated. To date, subjects have completed more than 10 study nights for this ongoing study.

The ultimate goal is to develop a lighting countermeasure that enhances alertness and cognitive performance in ground crew members and astronauts. This year's results will impact the NASA Human Integration Design Handbook and the Space Flight Human Systems Standard, NASA-STD-3001, that provide guidance for supporting crew health, habitability, environment, and human factors in human space flight. Our progress addresses NASA Human Research Program Integrated Risk Plan (2010) risk area 22 (Sleep 5, 9, and 10) Critical Risk areas. These areas concern countermeasures that will optimally mitigate performance problems associated with sleep loss and circadian disturbances and the "mismatch between crew physical capabilities and task demands."

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The knowledge gained from this research, though focused on spaceflight, also may benefit people on Earth. The circadian disruption experienced by astronauts during space flight can be considered a threat to the success of space missions (Longnecker and Molins, 2005; NASA HRP Integrated Risk Plan, 2010). The resulting physiological and behavioral changes caused by circadian and sleep disruption can lead to diminished alertness, cognitive ability and psychomotor performance (Dijk et al., 2001). Over 45% of all medications taken in space are sleep aids taken as a measure to counteract sleep deficits (Putcha et al., 1999). Although the studies in this project are focused on developing a non-pharmacological lighting countermeasure for space exploration, it is anticipated that there will be benefits to civilians living on Earth. A significant portion of the global population suffers from chronic sleep loss and/or circadian-related disorders. Evidence for disease or illness due to a disruption of circadian homeostasis has mounted significantly in the past several years. In the United States, nearly 22 million Americans do shift work that interferes with a biologically healthy nocturnal sleep cycle (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007). Shift workers have been shown to be more likely to suffer from a wide variety of ailments, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal distress, and cognitive problems. Furthermore, epidemiological studies of female shift workers have shown that they are more likely to suffer from breast cancer and colon cancer compared to day shift workers. The World Health Organization has identified shift work as a probable risk for cancer (The International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007). Our laboratory is involved in testing the hypothesis that night time exposure to light suppresses melatonin and contributes to cancer risk (Blask et al., 2005; Stevens et al., 2007).

Aside from evidence of a breakdown in physical health, the effects of circadian disruption and sleep loss have long been known to have potentially dangerous behavioral effects. Mental fatigue, diminished alertness, loss of psychomotor coordination and decreased physical performance are all commonly found in individuals with sleep loss, sleep debt, or circadian misalignment. Many people also experience the same effects after air travel across several time zones. The impact of these deficits affects many industries, including transportation, manufacturing, communications, medicine, and homeland security. It has long been a source of concern for the military, as well. In the past, the U.S. Air Force has supported our laboratory to study the acute alerting effects of light (French et al., 1990; Brainard et al., 1996). Our current work for NIH has continued this effort (Lockley et al., 2006).

Existing therapeutic lighting interventions stand to benefit from enhancing our understanding of how different wavelengths of the spectrum affect human circadian and neurobehavioral regulation. A more efficient intervention with increased potency and/or fewer side effects could result. One such disorder currently being treated with bright white light is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. It is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 Americans suffer from SAD or its milder version, subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder (sSAD) (Lam and Levitt, 1999). Similar bright white light interventions also are used to treat jetlag. Side effects from exposure to bright white light for these and other therapies include: hypomania, headache, vision problems, nausea, dizziness, and anxiety. Optimizing the light spectrum for specific affective and/or circadian-related disorders could deliver the same medical impact with lower levels of light intensity and, potentially, with fewer side effects. Our group has completed Phase I testing of light therapy with blue solid-state lighting for patients with SAD (Glickman et al., 2006).

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2011 
Task Progress: This is the fifth year of a directed research project that is intended to run until 2012. The goal is to study the efficacy of blue or blue-enriched white solid-state light for enhancing alertness in men and women as a basis for developing an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts and NASA ground crew.

For this project, we have four 122 sq cm solid-state light sources: two with narrow-bandwidth (peak 469 nm) LEDs and two with broad-bandwidth blue-enriched LEDS that emit white-appearing light with a CCT of 6,500 K. These units provide a large, uniform light-emitting surface with intensity modulation. An independent safety analysis of both LED light sources based on national (ACGIH) and international (ICNIRP) criteria has been completed. James Maida of JSC and Charles Bowen, Ph.D., of Lockheed Martin (retired) have confirmed that the blue LED units meet NASA's safety standards (West et al., 2008).

An initial melatonin suppression study was conducted with the narrow bandwidth blue LED units to characterize their biological potency and to guide the selection of the light intensity for the first alertness study. Healthy subjects (N>=8) completed a total of 84 nighttime melatonin suppression experiments. Data analysis was completed permitting the calculation of a target intensity for the alertness study. The data showed that the blue LED light evokes a dose-response melatonin suppression. The data also indicate that blue LED light is stronger than 4,000 K white fluorescent light for suppressing melatonin. A peer-reviewed manuscript has been published on these results (West, 2011).

Over 300 individuals volunteered to be screened for the first 3-day alertness study with the blue LED light units. From that pool of volunteers, 26 subjects completed all medical, psychological, and ophthalmological examinations as well as screens for stability of sleep-wake cycles and drugs of abuse. Of the 24 subjects that entered study, 22 completed the three-day inpatient alertness protocol. Analysis of plasma melatonin, subjective alertness, objective alertness, and neurobehavioral data will be finalized this year. Analysis of polysomnography data is in process. Two presentations have been made at international meetings describing the protocol and a partial analysis of the melatonin data set (Hanifin et al., 2010a, 2010b; Ed. note: see FY2010 Task Book Bibliography). Preliminary testing of visual performance and color discrimination has been done with selected intensities of the narrow bandwidth blue LEDs with 8 healthy subjects.

A pilot study protocol on the consequences of reducing the size of the light-emitting surface to a more flight-worthy size has been designed and approved by the Jefferson IRB. Two exposure systems with broad-bandwidth blue-enriched LEDS (6,500 K) are being used for this study. Subject recruitment, screening and enrollment has been initiated. To date, subjects have completed more than 10 study nights for this ongoing study.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 02/10/2021)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Ayers M, Hanifin JP, Coyle W, Kemp J, West K, Downes M, Warfield B, Hasher D, Kubey A, Jablonski M, Cecil K, Bernecker C, Bowen C, Maida J, Lockley SW, Goel N, Dinges D, Mollicone D, Brainard GC. "International space station lighting: Acute neuroendocrine, visual performance, and alerting effects of light." Regulation Tests. 41st Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington D.C., November 12-16, 2011.

41st Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting, November 12-16, 2011. Abstract available at http://www.abstractsonline.com/Plan/ViewAbstract.aspx?sKey=fcb2ab64-e1a9-4000-85f6-fcdf03344a48&cKey=bc26d4c0-bea9-4839-abe9-5782c5887214&mKey={8334BE29-8911-4991-8C31-32B32DD5E6C8} ; accessed 10/12/2011. , Nov-2011

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC, Coyle W, Kemp J, West K, Downes M, Ayers M, Warfield B, Hasher D, Whittaker A, Kubey A, Bowen C, Maida J, Lockley S, Goel N, Dinges D, Mollicone D, Hanifin JP. "Solid State Lighting for the International Space Station: Tests of Visual Performance and Melatonin Regulation." 18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Houston, TX, April 11-15, 2011.

18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Houston, TX, April 11-15, 2011. , Apr-2011

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC, Downes M, Kemp J, Ayers M, West K, Warfield B, Jablonski M, Cecil K, Bowen C, Maida J, Hanifin J. "Tests on Solid State Lighting for the International Space Station." 23rd Annual Meeting Society of Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, July 10-13, 2011.

23rd Annual Meeting Society of Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, July, 2011. , Jul-2011

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Downes M, Ayers M, West K, Kemp J, Warfield B, Hasher D, Welsh C, Whittaker A, Hanifin JP, Cecil K, Brainard GC. "Melatonin suppression using solid-state lighting in a simulation of the International Space Station crew sleeping quarters." 41st Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington D.C., November 12-16, 2011.

41st Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting, November, 2011. Abstract available at: http://www.abstractsonline.com/Plan/ViewAbstract.aspx?sKey=8222662e-3e40-40dd-b00e-ab6de066d38b&cKey=ff81c495-7c77-43f1-b855-896587efd2ef&mKey={8334BE29-8911-4991-8C31-32B32DD5E6C8} ; accessed 10/12/2011. , Nov-2011

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Hanifin JP, Kemp J, Downes M, Warfield B, Ayers M, Cecil K, Gerner E, Noguchi H, Shimizu M, Brainard GC. "Effects of Fluorescent Light Correlated Color Temperature on Melatonin Regulation in Healthy Humans." 23rd Annual Meeting Society of Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, July 10-13, 2011.

23rd Annual Meeting Society of Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, July, 2011. , Jul-2011

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Liu AM, Rueger M, Barger LK, Brainard GC, Czeisler CA, Flynn-Evans EE, Forman RE, Lowenthal CS, Natapoff A, Quincy C, Schulz D, Williamson PN, Oman CM, Lockley SW. "Validation of Assessment Tests and Countermeasures for Detecting and Mitigating Changes in Cognitive Function During Robotics Operations." 18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Houston, TX, April 11-15, 2011.

18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Houston, TX, April 11-15, 2011. , Apr-2011

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals West KE, Jablonski MR, Warfield B, Cecil KS, James M, Ayers MA, Maida J, Bowen C, Sliney DH, Rollag M, Hanifin JP, Brainard GC. "Blue light from light-emitting diodes elicits a dose-dependent suppression of melatonin in humans." J Appl Physiol. 2011 Mar;110(3):619-26. Epub 2010 Dec 16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.01413.2009 ; PMID: 21164152 , Mar-2011
Awards Brainard GC. "Class Day Speaker, Jefferson Medical College (Honor voted by graduating medical students), June 2011." Jun-2011
Awards Brainard GC. "Parents Day Speaker, Jefferson Medical College (Honor voted by second year medical students), February 2011." Feb-2011
Awards Hanifin JP. "Student travel award, Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, July 2011." Jul-2011
Books/Book Chapters Byrne B, Brainard G. "Effective management of seasonal affective disorder." in "Therapy in sleep medicine." Ed. T. Barkoukis et al. Philadelphia, PA : Elsevier/Saunders, 2011. ISBN: 9781437717037, Oct-2011
Significant Media Coverage Spivey A. "Light at night and breast cancer risk worldwide. Scientific article in a national publication exploring the link between exposure to light at night (LAN) and increased risk of cancer (such as breast or prostate) in which Dr. Brainard's melatonin and cancer research is mentioned." Environmental Health Perspectives 2010 Dec;118(12):a525. PMID: 21123149 ; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002207/ , Dec-2010
Significant Media Coverage Holzman DC. "Blue alert: The dark side of night light. Scientific article in a national publication describing Dr. Brainard's research." New Scientist 2011 May;2811:44-7. http://www.newscientist.com/issue/2811 , May-2011
Significant Media Coverage Cheney I. "The City Dark. Feature-length documentary film (which picked up awards at the Yale and South by Southwest Film Festivals) exploring the complex issues surrounding light pollution." The City Dark, May 2011., May-2011
Significant Media Coverage Peeples L. "Seasonal blues? Lack of blue light may be to blame. National feature article about the importance of blue light and its role in seasonal affective disorder; Dr. Brainard interviewed." http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/10/27/health.blue.light.moods/index.html (Primary interview). (Additional placements) Health.com, Topix.com, MedWorm.com, Newsique.com, WordPress.com, SurfWax.com, NewsRoomAmerica.com , October 2010., Oct-2010
Significant Media Coverage Selvin R. "Haddon Township Ph.D.'s Research Aids Chilean Miners. Profile of Dr. Brainard and how his research can aid trapped miners, specifically the Chilean miners who were recently rescued after being trapped for weeks underground with little light." The Retrospect. October 29, 2010. http://theretrospect.com/feature-haddon-township-phds-research-aids-chilean-miners-p2592-1.htm , Oct-2010
Project Title:  Blue Light for Enhancing Alertness in Space Missions Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2010 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 09/01/2006  
End Date: 08/31/2012  
Task Last Updated: 09/14/2010 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Brainard, George C. Ph.D. / Thomas Jefferson University 
Address:  Light Research Program 
1025 Walnut St., Room 507 
Philadelphia , PA 19107-5083 
Email: george.brainard@jefferson.edu 
Phone: 215-955-7644  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Thomas Jefferson University 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
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) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Sleep Gap 05:We need to identify environmental specifications and operational regimens for using light to prevent and mitigate health and performance decrements due to sleep, circadian, and neurobehavioral disruption, for flight, surface and ground crews, during all phases of spaceflight operations (IRP Rev E)
Task Description: The overall goal of this project is to study the efficacy of blue-enriched polychromatic solid-state light for acutely enhancing alertness and cognitive performance in healthy men and women. The purpose of this work is to develop an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts as well as NASA ground crew. This is the fourth year of a directed research project. This past year, we have worked on the following seven aims:

1) Submit a peer-review manuscript on the blue solid-state light melatonin suppression bench-marking study.

2) Continue enrolling subjects for the first study on alertness and cognitive performance.

3) Assay samples from the ongoing alertness study for melatonin.

4) Do preliminary analysis of polysomnography, subjective and objective alertness, and neurobehavioral test data from the ongoing alertness study.

5) Develop a study design on the consequences of reducing the size of the light emitting surface to a more flight-worthy size.

6) Submit a protocol on the new study design for Jefferson IRB review.

7) Related to aims 5 and 6, a) design and acquire new prototype solid-state light sources, or b) modify the current study light sources.

During the first three years of this project, we made significant progress in 1) creating two prototype 122 sq cm solid-state blue light (peak wavelength 475 nm) exposure systems for the studies, 2) validating the safety of these prototypes by an independent hazard analysis that met federal (ACGIH), international (ICNIRP), and NASA guidelines for safety of human ocular exposure, and 3) completing a bench-marking melatonin suppression study using the blue light prototype with eight healthy subjects. The melatonin study confirmed that narrowband, polychromatic blue solid-state light suppresses melatonin in healthy subjects in a dose-response manner and enabled the calculation of a target intensity for the initial alertness study.

In terms of the first aim for the past year, we completed data analysis of the bench-marking blue solid-state light melatonin suppression study and submitted a peer-review manuscript on the results. Subsequently we have received reviews that are generally positive. The co-authors are currently working on a manuscript revision.

The second, third and fourth aims are concerned with our first study on the effects of narrowband, polychromatic blue solid-state light on alertness and cognitive performance in healthy male and female subjects. To date, over 300 individuals inquired about participating and went through initial elements of screening for the first 3-day alertness study. From that pool of interested volunteers, 26 subjects completed all medical, psychological, and ophthalmological examinations as well as screens for stability of sleep-wake cycles and drugs of abuse. Of the 24 subjects that entered study, 22 completed the three-day inpatient alertness protocol. Preliminary analysis of plasma melatonin, subjective alertness, objective alertness, polysomnography, and neurobehavioral data are now in process and will continue well into the next year. Until this data analysis is completed, no further volunteers will be screened or entered into the protocol. Two presentations have been made at international meetings describing the protocol and a partial analysis of the melatonin data set (Hanifin et al., 2010a, 2010b).

It is important to note that the experimental 122 sq cm LED light panels we have used in the first two studies, are too large to be flight-worthy. The fifth, sixth, and seventh aims are concerned with needing to test the consequences of reducing the size of the light-emitting surface to a more flight-worthy size. This study will use the acute melatonin suppression response as its dependent variable for quantifying how different size light-emitting surfaces influence this neuroendocrine response. A set of six different study designs were initially developed to test the relative efficacy of smaller light-emitting surfaces. The LRP staff met to review those study designs with the intent of selecting a single design to best accomplish this objective. Progress has been delayed, however, in finalizing this protocol due to unexpected, emergent work on the Solid-State Light Assembly (SSLA) that is being proposed for retrofitting the current fluorescent General Light Assembly (GLA) onboard the International Space Station. Given that the light-emitting surface dimensions of SSLA are now relatively certain, we are re-formulating our approach to include the SSLA light-emitting surface dimension in our overall study design. Instead of developing a new IRB application, we have been guided to amend an existing IRB protocol for supporting this study. This month we submitted that designated IRB for renewal and plan to develop the necessary amendments once the renewal application has been accepted. We have also determined that we will not need to acquire new solid-state light sources for this project. One or more of our current solid-state panels can be modified for the purpose of this study.

The ultimate goal is to develop a lighting countermeasure that enhances alertness and cognitive performance in ground crew members and astronauts. This year's results will impact the NASA Human Integration Design Handbook and the Space Flight Human Systems Standard, NASA-STD-3001, that provide guidance for supporting crew health, habitability, environment, and human factors in human space flight. Our progress addresses NASA Human Research Program Integrated Risk Plan (2009) risk areas 13, 33, and 76, and risk areas 26, 27, and 44 in the Bioastronautics Roadmap (2005).

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The knowledge gained from this research, though focused on spaceflight, also may benefit people on Earth. The circadian disruption experienced by astronauts during space flight can be considered a threat to the success of space missions (Longnecker and Molins, 2005; NASA HRP Integrated Risk Plan, 2009). The resulting physiological and behavioral changes caused by circadian and sleep disruption can lead to diminished alertness, cognitive ability and psychomotor performance (Dijk et al., 2001). Over 45% of all medications taken in space are sleep aids taken as a measure to counteract sleep deficits (Putcha et al., 1999). Although the studies in this project are focused on developing a non-pharmacological lighting countermeasure for space exploration, it is anticipated that there will be benefits to civilians living on Earth. A significant portion of the global population suffers from chronic sleep loss and/or circadian-related disorders. Evidence for disease or illness due to a disruption of circadian homeostasis has mounted significantly in the past several years. In the United States, nearly 22 million Americans do shift work that interferes with a biologically healthy nocturnal sleep cycle (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007). Shift workers have been shown to be more likely to suffer from a wide variety of ailments, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal distress, and cognitive problems. Furthermore, epidemiological studies of female shift workers have shown that they are more likely to suffer from breast cancer and colon cancer compared to day shift workers. The World Health Organization has identified shift work as a probable risk for cancer (The International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007). Our laboratory is involved in testing the hypothesis that night time exposure to light suppresses melatonin and contributes to cancer risk (Blask et al., 2005; Stevens et al., 2007).

Aside from evidence of a breakdown in physical health, the effects of circadian disruption and sleep loss have long been known to have potentially dangerous behavioral effects. Mental fatigue, diminished alertness, loss of psychomotor coordination and decreased physical performance are all commonly found in individuals with sleep loss, sleep debt, or circadian misalignment. Many people also experience the same effects after air travel across several time zones. The impact of these deficits affects many industries, including transportation, manufacturing, communications, medicine, and homeland security. It has long been a source of concern for the military, as well. In the past, the U.S. Air Force has supported our laboratory to study the acute alerting effects of light (French et al., 1990; Brainard et al., 1996). Our current work for NIH has continued this effort (Lockley et al., 2006).

Existing therapeutic lighting interventions stand to benefit from enhancing our understanding of how different wavelengths of the spectrum affect human circadian and neurobehavioral regulation. A more efficient intervention with increased potency and/or fewer side effects could result. One such disorder currently being treated with bright white light is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. It is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 Americans suffer from SAD or its milder version, subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder (sSAD) (Lam and Levitt, 1999). Similar bright white light interventions also are used to treat jetlag. Side effects from exposure to bright white light for these and other therapies include: hypomania, headache, vision problems, nausea, dizziness, and anxiety. Optimizing the light spectrum for specific affective and/or circadian-related disorders could deliver the same medical impact with lower levels of light intensity and, potentially, with fewer side effects. Our group has completed Phase I testing of light therapy with blue solid-state lighting for patients with SAD (Glickman et al., 2006).

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2010 
Task Progress: This is the fourth year of research that is intended to run until 2012. The goal is to study the efficacy of blue or blue-enriched white solid-state light for enhancing alertness in men and women as a basis for developing an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts as well as NASA ground crew.

For this study, we have two identical 122 sq cm solid-state blue light sources, installed into identical exposure stations. Each light source consists of an array of 5,776 blue LEDs (peak 475 nm). These units provide a large, uniform light-emitting surface with intensity modulation. The light sources were developed collaboratively with Apollo Health, an NSBRI Industrial Partner. David Sliney, Ph.D., has completed an independent safety analysis of the blue LED light sources based on national (ACGIH) and international (ICNIRP) criteria. After reviewing Dr. Sliney's final report, James Maida of JSC and Charles Bowen, Ph.D., of Lockheed Martin confirmed that the units meet NASA's safety standards and co-authored with our team an abstract showing the safety evaluation results (West et al., 2008).

An initial melatonin suppression study was conducted to characterize the biological potency of the prototype light units and to guide the selection of the light intensity for the first alertness study. Eight healthy men and women participated in the study, completing a total of 84 nighttime melatonin suppression experiments. Data analysis has been completed and, based on the results, a target intensity for the alertness study was calculated. The data showed that the blue LED light evokes a dose-response melatonin suppression in healthy subjects. The data also indicate that blue LED light may be stronger than 4,000 K white fluorescent light for suppressing melatonin. We completed a manuscript on these results and submitted it for peer review. Subsequently we have received reviews that are generally positive. The co-authors are currently working on a manuscript revision.

To date, over 300 individuals contacted our program and went through initial elements of screening for the first 3-day alertness study. From that pool of interested volunteers, 26 subjects completed all medical, psychological, and ophthalmological examinations as well as screens for stability of sleep-wake cycles and drugs of abuse. Of the 24 subjects that entered study, 22 completed the three-day inpatient alertness protocol. Preliminary analysis of plasma melatonin, subjective alertness, objective alertness, polysomnography, and neurobehavioral data are now in process and will continue well into the next year. Until this data analysis is completed, no further volunteers will be screened or entered into the protocol. Two presentations have been made at international meetings describing the protocol and a partial analysis of the melatonin data set (Hanifin et al., 2010a, 2010b).

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 02/10/2021)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC, Hanifin JP, Sliney D, Blask D, Rollag M, Brainard L. "Analytic and polychromatic action spectra: from hamster testicles to the space station and beyond." 35th Meeting of the American Society for Photobiology, Providence, Rhode Island, June 12-16, 2010.

35th Meeting of the American Society for Photobiology, Abstract Book, June 2010. , Jun-2010

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC, Hanifin JP. "Lighting for manned space exploration." 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Vienna, Austria, July 1-3, 2010.

22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Abstract Book, July 2010. , Jul-2010

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC, Klerman EB. "Overview of NSBRI human factors and performance team projects." NASA Human Research Program Investigators' Workshop, Houston, Texas, February 3-5, 2010.

NASA Human Research Program Investigators' Workshop Human Research in the Post-Shuttle Era, Abstract Book, February 2010. , Feb-2010

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC. "Ocular physiology for human circadian phototransduction." XIX Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research, Montreal, Canada, July 18-23, 2010.

XIX Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research, Abstract Book, July 2010. , Jul-2010

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Hanifin JP, Thiessen M, Balaicuis J, Evans E, West K, Warfield B, Cecil K, Kemp J, Jablonski M, Downes M, James M, Byrne B, Gerner E, Pineda C, Sliney D, Maida J, Bowen C, Goel N, Dinges D, Lockley S, Brainard G. "Effects of blue solid-state lighting on melatonin suppression and alertness." Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, Destin, Florida, May 22-26, 2010.

Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, Abstract Book, May 2010. p. 110-111. , May-2010

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Hanifin JP, Thiessen M, Balaicuis J, Evans E, West K, Warfield B, Cecil K, Kemp J, Jablonski M, Downes M, James M, Byrne B, Gerner E, Pineda C, Sliney D, Maida J, Bowen C, Goel N, Dinges D, Lockley S, Brainard G. "Effects of short wavelength solid-state lighting on alertness and melatonin suppression." 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Vienna, Austria, July 1-3, 2010.

22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Abstract book, July 2010. , Jul-2010

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Gooley JJ, Rajaratnam SMW, Brainard GC, Kronauer RE, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. "Spectral responses of the human circadian system depend on the irradiance and duration of exposure to light." Sci Transl Med. 2010 May 12;2(31):31ra33. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.3000741 ; PMID: 20463367 , May-2010
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals West KE, Jablonski MR, Warfield B, Cecil KS, James M, Thiessen MA, Maida J, Bowen C, Sliney DH, Rollag M, Hanifin JP, Brainard GC. "Blue light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) elicits a dose-dependent suppression of melatonin in humans." J Appl Physiology. Submitted, 2009. , Dec-2009
Awards Brainard GC. "Jefferson Medical College Student Award for Professionalism, March 2010." Mar-2010
Awards Brainard GC. "Research Award, American Society of Photobiology, June 2010." Jun-2010
Awards Hanifin JP. "Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms Philips Student Travel Award, July 2010." Jul-2010
Books/Book Chapters Byrne B, Brainard G. "Effective management of seasonal affective disorder." in "Therapy in sleep medicine." Ed. K. Doghramji. New York : Elsevier, 2010, in press., Jul-2010
Books/Book Chapters Doghramji K, Brainard GC, Balaicuis JM. "Sleep and sleep disorders." in "Integrative psychiatry." Ed. D. A. Monti, B. D. Beitman. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010. p. 195-239., Jan-2010
Books/Book Chapters Whitmire AM, Leveton LB, Barger L, Brainard G, Dinges DF, Klerman E, Shea C. "Risk of performance errors due to sleep loss, circadian desynchronization, fatigue, and work overload." in "The human health and performance risks of space exploration missions." Ed. J.C. McPhee, J.B. Charles. Houston, TX : NASA, Johnson Space Center, 2009, p. 85-116. (NASA SP-2009-3405), Dec-2009
Patents Applied. Applied, July 2010. Jul-2010 Brainard GC, Glickman G. "Photoreceptor system for melatonin regulation and phototherapy."
Project Title:  Blue Light for Enhancing Alertness in Space Missions Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2009 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 09/01/2006  
End Date: 08/31/2012  
Task Last Updated: 09/15/2009 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Brainard, George C. Ph.D. / Thomas Jefferson University 
Address:  Light Research Program 
1025 Walnut St., Room 507 
Philadelphia , PA 19107-5083 
Email: george.brainard@jefferson.edu 
Phone: 215-955-7644  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Thomas Jefferson University 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
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: 12 
Human Research Program Elements: (1) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Sleep Gap 05:We need to identify environmental specifications and operational regimens for using light to prevent and mitigate health and performance decrements due to sleep, circadian, and neurobehavioral disruption, for flight, surface and ground crews, during all phases of spaceflight operations (IRP Rev E)
Task Description: The overall goal of this project is to study the efficacy of blue-enriched polychromatic solid-state light for acutely enhancing alertness and cognitive performance in healthy men and women. The purpose of this work is to develop an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts as well as NASA ground crew.

This is the third year of a directed research project. This past year, we have worked on the following seven aims:

1) Complete data analysis for the blue-enriched solid-state light melatonin suppression bench-marking study.

2) Present the melatonin study results at the NASA Investigators Workshop and complete a manuscript for publication.

3) Complete the setup, calibration, and staff training on polysomnographic equipment and performance testing batteries.

4) Secure necessary amendments to the approved IRB document for the first alertness study.

5) Recruit, screen, enroll, and begin running subjects for the first study on alertness and cognitive performance.

6) Identify follow-up studies.

7) As necessary, a) design and acquire new prototype solid-state light sources or b) develop modifications of current light sources for future studies.

During the first two years of this project, we made significant progress in 1) creating two prototype 122 x 122 cm solid-state blue light (475 nm) exposure systems for the studies, 2) validating the safety of these prototypes by an independent hazard analysis that met federal (ACGIH), international (ICNIRP), and NASA guidelines for safety of human ocular exposure, and 3) completing a bench-marking melatonin suppression study using the blue light prototype with eight healthy subjects.

In terms of the first aim for the past year, we completed data analysis of the bench-marking melatonin suppression study. The goals of the study were to characterize the biological potency of the prototype light units and guide the selection of the light intensity to be tested in the first alertness study. The data confirm that narrowband, polychromatic blue solid-state light suppresses melatonin in healthy subjects in a dose-response manner. Further, the data enabled the calculation of a target intensity for the first alertness study.

For the second aim, the melatonin suppression data was presented at the NASA Investigators' Workshop (West et al., 2008) and a first draft of a manuscript on the study has been completed. Revision of the manuscript by all co-authors is continuing. The intent is to submit a final manuscript to a peer-review journal during this coming year.

The third and fourth aims are concerned with our first study on the effects of narrowband, polychromatic blue solid-state light on alertness and cognitive performance in healthy male and female subjects. Although the collaborative team completed the design of this study in the prior year, further protocol modifications were necessary, and Jefferson’s IRB has approved 4 separate protocol revisions since then. In parallel, we established the polysomnography (PSG) and behavioral testing techniques for this project, and LRP staff completed the necessary training for using these methods. Erin Evans, a Registered PSG Technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, joined our team as a collaborator to assist with troubleshooting our PSG setup, data analysis, and data interpretation.

Progress on our fifth aim includes subject recruitment and participation in the alertness study. To date, over 170 individuals have applied to participate and have gone through initial steps of screening for the study. From that pool, more than 10 subjects have completed medical, psychological, and ophthalmological examinations, as well as screens for stability of sleep-wake cycles and drugs of abuse. Ten subjects have now completed the three-day inpatient alertness protocol. Preliminary analysis of plasma melatonin, subjective alertness, objective alertness, and neurobehavioral data are now in process. We plan to continue screening volunteers and entering eligible subjects into the protocol in the coming year.

In terms of our sixth and seventh aims, it is important to note that the experimental panel we currently are testing is not flight-worthy. A set of six different study designs has been developed to test the relative efficacy of smaller light emitting surfaces. The LRP staff has met to review these study designs with the intent of selecting a single design to best accomplish this objective. Although the details of the study design are not finalized, preliminary work on an IRB submission has been initiated. Preliminary discussions have addressed how to modify of the 122 x 122 cm exposure panels for the new study. Work on study design, exposure panel reconfiguration, and the associated IRB will continue into the coming year.

The ultimate goal of this project is to develop a lighting countermeasure that enhances alertness and cognitive performance. This year’s progress addresses Critical Risk areas 26 and 27 in the Bioastronautics Roadmap (research questions 26f, 26h, 27b, and 27f). These areas concern countermeasures that mitigate performance problems due to sleep loss and circadian disturbances. This work ultimately impacts Critical Risk 44 concerning the “mismatch between crew physical capabilities and task demands” (question 44f).

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The knowledge we hope to gain from this research, though focused on space flight, also may benefit people on Earth. The circadian disruption experienced by astronauts during space flight can be considered a threat to the success of space missions (Longnecker and Molins, 2005). The resulting physiological and behavioral changes caused by circadian and sleep disruption can lead to diminished alertness, cognitive ability and psychomotor performance (Dijk et al., 2001). Over 45% of all medications taken in space are sleep aids taken as a measure to counteract sleep deficits (Putcha et al., 1999). Although the studies in this project are focused on developing a non-pharmacological lighting countermeasure for space exploration, it is anticipated that there will be benefits to civilians living on Earth. A significant portion of the global population suffers from chronic sleep loss and/or circadian-related disorders. Evidence for disease or illness due to a disruption of circadian homeostasis has mounted significantly in the past several years. In the United States, nearly 22 million Americans do shift work that interferes with a biologically healthy nocturnal sleep cycle (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007). Shift workers have been shown to be more likely to suffer from a wide variety of ailments, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal distress, and cognitive and emotional problems. Furthermore, epidemiological studies of female shift workers have shown that they are more likely to suffer from breast cancer and colon cancer compared to day shift workers. The World Health Organization has identified shift work as a probable risk for cancer (The International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007). Our laboratory is involved in testing the hypothesis that night time exposure to light suppresses melatonin and contributes to cancer risk (Blask et al., 2005; Stevens et al., 2007).

Aside from evidence of a breakdown in physical health, the effects of circadian disruption and sleep loss have long been known to have potentially dangerous behavioral effects. Mental fatigue, diminished alertness, loss of psychomotor coordination and decreased physical performance are all commonly found in individuals with sleep loss, sleep debt, or circadian misalignment. Many people also experience the same effects after air travel across several time zones. The impact of these deficits affects many industries, including transportation, manufacturing, communications, medicine, and homeland security. It has long been a source of concern for the military, as well. In the past, the U.S. Air Force has supported our laboratory to study the acute alerting effects of light (French et al., 1990; Brainard et al., 1996). Our current work for NIH has continued this effort (Lockley et al., 2006).

Existing therapeutic lighting interventions stand to benefit from enhancing our understanding of how different wavelengths of the spectrum affect human circadian and neurobehavioral regulation. A more efficient intervention with increased potency and/or fewer side effects could result. One such disorder currently being treated with bright white light is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. It is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 Americans suffer from SAD or its milder version, subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder (sSAD) (Lam and Levitt, 1999). Similar bright white light interventions also are used to treat jetlag. Side effects from exposure to bright white light for these and other therapies include: hypomania, headache, vision problems, nausea, dizziness, and anxiety. Optimizing the light spectrum for specific affective and/or circadian-related disorders could deliver the same medical impact with lower levels of light intensity and, potentially, with fewer side effects. Our group has completed Phase I testing of light therapy with blue solid-state lighting for patients with SAD (Glickman et al., 2006).

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2009 
Task Progress: This is the third year of research that is intended to run until 2012. The goal is to study the efficacy of blue or blue enriched white solid-state light for enhancing alertness in men and women as a basis for developing an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts as well as NASA ground crew.

For this study, we have two identical 122 x 122 cm solid-state blue light sources, installed into identical exposure stations. Each light source consists of an array of 5,776 blue LEDs (peak 475 nm). These units provide a large, uniform light-emitting surface with intensity modulation. The light sources were designed and developed collaboratively with Apollo Health, an NSBRI Industrial Partner. David Sliney, Ph.D., has completed an independent safety analysis of the blue LED light sources based on national (ACGIH) and international (ICNIRP) criteria. After reviewing Dr. Sliney’s final report, James Maida of JSC and Charles Bowen, Ph.D., of Lockheed Martin confirmed that the units meet NASA’s safety standards and were co-authors with our team on an abstract showing the safety evaluation results (West et al., 2008).

The aims of this bench-marking melatonin suppression study were to characterize the biological potency of the prototype light units and to guide the selection of the light intensity to be tested in the first alertness study. Eight healthy men and women participated in the study, completing a total of 84 nighttime melatonin suppression experiments. Data analysis has been completed and, based on the results, a target intensity for the first alertness study was calculated. The data also showed that the blue LED light evokes a dose-response melatonin suppression in healthy subjects. A first draft of a manuscript on these results has been completed. Revisions of the manuscript by all co-authors will continue into year 4 of work.

Although the collaborative team completed the design of our first study on the effect of blue solid-state light on alertness and cognitive performance in the prior year, further protocol modifications were implemented, and Jefferson’s IRB has approved 4 separate protocol revisions since then. In parallel, we established the polysomnography and behavioral testing techniques for this project and LRP staff completed the necessary training for using these methods. To date, over 170 individuals have applied to participate and have gone through initial elements of screening for the alertness study. From that pool, more than 10 subjects have completed medical, psychological, and ophthalmological examinations, as well as screens for stability of sleep-wake cycles and drugs of abuse. Ten subjects have now completed the three-day inpatient alertness protocol. Preliminary analysis of plasma melatonin, subjective alertness, objective alertness, and neurobehavioral data are now in process. We plan to continue screening volunteers and entering eligible subjects into the protocol in the coming year.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 02/10/2021)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC, Hanifin JP. "Optimizing lighting for circadian, neuroendocrine, and neurobehavioral regulation during space exploration." 3rd DIN-Expert Panel, Berlin, Germany, June 24, 2009.

3rd DIN-Expert Panel, June 2009. , Jun-2009

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC. "Role of light and ocular physiology for human melatonin regulation." Circadian Disruption and Cancer, New York Academy of Sciences, New York City, New York, June 19, 2009.

Circadian Disruption and Cancer, Abstract Book, June 2009. , Jun-2009

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Brainard GC, Sliney D, Hanifin JP, Glickman G, Byrne B, Greeson JM, Jasser S, Gerner E, Rollag MD. "Sensitivity of the human circadian system to short-wavelength (420-nm) light." J Biol Rhythms. 2008 Oct;23(5):379-86. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0748730408323089 ; PMID: 18838601 , Oct-2008
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Byrne B, Brainard GC. "Seasonal affective disorder and light therapy." Sleep Medicine Clinics 2008 Jun;3(2):307-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsmc.2008.01.012 , Jun-2008
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Brainard GC, Provencio I. "Photoreception for the neurobehavioral effects of light on humans." Light & Engineering. 2008;16(1):5-18. , Oct-2008
Awards Brainard G. "PI was given the Thomas Jefferson University 2008 Research Performance Award, December 2008." Dec-2008
Awards Brainard G. "PI was selected for an International Webcast of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, March 2009." Mar-2009
Books/Book Chapters Doghramji K, Balaicuis JM, Brainard GC. "Sleep and sleep disorders." in "Integrative psychiatry." Ed. D. A. Monti, B. Beitman. New York : Oxford University Press, in press, 2009., Aug-2009
Significant Media Coverage Flam F. "Newspaper article on health risks to astronauts. Discussed sleep risks and role of short-wavelength light in circadian rhythms." Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec 1, 2008., Dec-2008
Significant Media Coverage Landers SJ. "Discusses the Capitol Hill NSBRI demonstration." American Medical News, April 13, 2009., Apr-2009
Significant Media Coverage Byrd D, Block J, Patterson L, Salazar J. "Podcast discussing the potential role of blue and blue-enriched light in helping regulate circadian clocks of astronauts." Earth & Sky radio series program 5651, November 2008., Nov-2008
Project Title:  Blue Light for Enhancing Alertness in Space Missions Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2008 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 09/01/2006  
End Date: 08/31/2012  
Task Last Updated: 10/08/2008 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Brainard, George C. Ph.D. / Thomas Jefferson University 
Address:  Light Research Program 
1025 Walnut St., Room 507 
Philadelphia , PA 19107-5083 
Email: george.brainard@jefferson.edu 
Phone: 215-955-7644  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Thomas Jefferson University 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
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) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Sleep Gap 05:We need to identify environmental specifications and operational regimens for using light to prevent and mitigate health and performance decrements due to sleep, circadian, and neurobehavioral disruption, for flight, surface and ground crews, during all phases of spaceflight operations (IRP Rev E)
Task Description: The overall goal of this project is to study the efficacy of blue enriched polychromatic solid-state light for acutely enhancing alertness and cognitive performance in healthy men and women. The purpose of this work is to develop an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts as well as NASA ground crew.

This is the second year of a new, directed research project. This past year, we have worked on the following seven aims:

1) Have independent safety analysis completed on the new solid-state lighting prototype and involve lighting engineers from Johnson Space Center (JSC) and Lockheed Martin in reviewing and approving the safety analysis and proposing any further assessments to ensure that the prototype meets NASA’s standards and applications.

2) Acquire a second solid state blue light exposure system from Apollo Light Systems, Inc., an NSBRI industrial partner. Install and characterize the second system prior to its implementation in the melatonin bench-marking studies.

3) Complete human subject recruitment and nighttime experiments for the melatonin suppression bench-marking study with blue solid-state light. Complete assay of melatonin samples and begin data analysis for this study.

4) Complete the design of the inaugural study on the effect of blue solid-state light on alertness and cognitive performance in healthy subjects.

5) Write and secure Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of the first alertness study design.

6) Set up and calibrate polysomnographic equipment. Train staff in use of polysomnographic equipment and performance testing batteries for assessing alertness and cognitive performance in the study volunteers.

7) Recruit and screen subjects. Begin running the first experiment on alertness and cognitive performance.

As a basis for accomplishing the first aim, David Sliney, Ph.D. of Aberdeen Proving Ground provided a draft independent safety analysis based on criteria from the American College of Government and Industrial Hygiene (ACGIH) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) during the first year of the project. The report was finalized during the current year of work. It confirmed that the blue solid-state prototype operates "at all wavelengths and emission levels that are far below limits that are recognized as maximal safe exposure values." Once finalized, the report was distributed to James Maida at JSC and Charles Bowen, Ph.D. of Lockheed Martin for review. In turn, they confirmed that the prototype meets NASA’s standards and applications. No further work is needed on this aim.

Towards the second aim, Apollo Light Systems, Inc. fabricated and delivered a second solid state blue light exposure unit to Jefferson’s Light Research Program. This light source was installed into an exposure system and characterized for spectral output and intensity control. It has been utilized in the melatonin bench-marking studies. No further work is needed on this aim.

For the third aim, human subject recruitment has been completed for the melatonin suppression bench-marking study with blue solid-state light. A total of 84 nighttime experiments with these subjects have been completed. Assay of plasma melatonin samples have been completed and data analysis has begun for this study. Preliminary data assessment indicates that two subjects may have to repeat an exposure night due to technical difficulties. Although a majority of this aim is completed, work will continue into year 3.

The fourth and fifth aims have now been accomplished, and the design is complete for our first study on the effect of blue solid-state light on alertness and cognitive performance in healthy subjects. Jefferson’s IRB formally approved the protocol on 4/17/08. Although protocol amendments may be submitted in the coming year, we are now enabled to start subject recruitment.

We are continuing work on the sixth aim. A sleep medicine physician is consulting with us on implementing polysomnography in this project, and we have hired two part time polysomnography technicians. The first polysomnography training session for the Light Research program staff was conducted on 7/9/08. Determination and purchase of the necessary polysomnography analysis software is underway. Testing of alertness and cognitive performance is being done in a separate phase-shift study, and we are currently determining if these techniques will be suitable in this project on acute alertness.

We will begin work on the seventh aim when we approach completion of the sixth aim. Subject recruitment involves a lengthy interview process, followed by a tour of the live-in laboratory where volunteers will stay for three days. Once volunteers commit to participating, they must avoid prescription or non-prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, recreational/street drugs, and other foreign substances. Urine toxicology screens will check compliance for these criteria. Subjects will be required to maintain a scheduled sleep-wake and light-dark cycle prior to the study, complete a daily sleep-wake log and Epsworth Sleepiness Scale, and phone into a voice mailbox to record the bed time and wake up time each day. For at least one week prior to entry into the laboratory study, they will wear a wrist activity monitor to ensure compliance with the screening criteria for maintaining a consistent sleep-wake schedule. In addition, they will be screened medically by a physician and psychologically by a clinical psychologist. Both before and after the study, subjects will have eye screens by a neuro-ophthalmologist. Failure to comply with any of these requirements will result in exclusion from the study. Work on this aim may begin as soon as August of 2008.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The knowledge we hope to gain from this research, though focused on spaceflight, will also benefit people here on Earth. The sleep deficits experienced by astronauts during space flight can be considered a threat to the success of space missions (Longnecker and Molins, 2005). The resulting physiological and behavioral changes caused by sleep and circadian disruption can lead to diminished alertness, cognitive ability and psychomotor performance (Dijk et al., 2001). As a measure to counteract sleep disruptions, over 45% of all medications taken in space are sleep aids (Putcha et al., 1999). Although the studies being considered in this project are focused on developing a non-pharmacological lighting countermeasure for space exploration, it is anticipated that there will be benefits to civilians living on Earth. A significant portion of the global population suffers from chronic sleep loss and/or circadian-related disorders. Evidence for disease or illness occurring due to a disruption of circadian homeostasis has mounted significantly in the past several years. In the United States, nearly 22 million Americans do shift work that interferes with a biologically healthy nocturnal sleep cycle (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007). Shift workers have been shown to be more likely to suffer from a wide variety of ailments, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal distress, and cognitive and emotional problems. Furthermore, epidemiological studies of female shift workers have shown that they are statistically more likely to suffer from breast cancer and colon cancer compared to day shift workers. The World Health Organization has identified shift work as a probable risk for cancer (The International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007). Our laboratory is involved in testing the hypothesis that night time exposure to light suppresses melatonin and contributes to cancer risk (Blask et al., 2005; Stevens et al., 2007).

Aside from evidence of a breakdown in physical health, the effects of circadian disruption and sleep loss have long been known to have potentially dangerous behavioral effects. Mental fatigue, diminished alertness, loss of psychomotor coordination and decreased physical performance are all commonly found in individuals with sleep loss, sleep debt, or circadian misalignment. The impact of these dangers affects many industries, including transportation, manufacturing, communications, and medicine. It has long been a source of concern for the military, as well. Many people also experience the same effects after air travel across several time zones. In the past, the U.S. Air Force has supported our laboratory to study the acute alerting effects of light (French et al., 1990; Brainard et al., 1996). Our current work for NIH has continued this effort (Lockley et al., 2006).

Existing therapeutic interventions using light stand to benefit from enhancing our understanding of how different wavelengths of the spectrum affect human circadian and neurobehavioral regulation. A more efficient intervention with increased potency and/or fewer side effects could result. One such disorder currently being treated with bright white light is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. It is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 Americans suffer from SAD or its milder version, subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder (sSAD) (Lam and Levitt, 1999). Similar bright white light interventions are also used to treat jetlag. Side effects from exposure to bright white light for these and other therapies include: hypomania, headache, vision problems, nausea, dizziness, and anxiety. Optimizing the light spectrum for specific affective and/or circadian-related disorders could deliver the same medical impact with lower levels of light intensity, and potentially fewer side effects. Our group has completed Phase I testing of light therapy with blue solid-state lighting for SAD patients (Glickman et al., 2006).

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2008 
Task Progress: This is the second year of a directed research project that is intended to run until 2012. The goal is to study the efficacy of blue solid-state light for enhancing alertness in healthy men and women. The purpose of this work is to develop an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts as well as NASA ground crew.

This year we developed a second blue light exposure system that greatly enhances our ability to run studies more efficiently. Our two solid-state blue light sources are identical in construction, installed into identical exposure stations, and equivalent in performance. Each light source consists of an array of 5,776 blue LEDs (peak 475 nm). These LED prototypes provide a large, uniform light emitting surface with intensity modulation. The donation of the second light source illustrates the continuing commitment of Apollo Light Systems, Inc. to work with our laboratory as an NSBRI Industrial Partner.

The safety evaluation of the prototype blue solid state light sources has been completed. David Sliney, Ph.D., provided an independent safety analysis based on national (ACGIH) and international (ICNIRP) criteria. His final report confirms that the prototype light units operate “at all wavelengths and emission levels that are far below limits that are recognized as maximal safe exposure values.” James Maida at JSC and Charles Bowen, Ph.D., of Lockheed Martin reviewed this report. They confirmed that the units meet NASA’s safety standards and were co-authors with our team on an abstract showing the safety evaluation results at NASA’s 2008 HRP Investigators Workshop.

The aims of the bench-marking melatonin suppression study were to characterize the biological potency of the prototype light units and guide the selection of the light intensity to be tested in the first alertness study. Eight healthy men and women participated in this within-subjects study, completing a total of 84 nighttime melatonin suppression experiments. Assays of plasma melatonin samples have been completed and data analysis has begun. Although further analysis is required, the preliminary data show that the blue LED light evokes a dose-response melatonin suppression in healthy subjects (p<0.001). Although a majority of this aim is completed, work on it will continue into year 3.

This year, our collaborative team completed the design of our first study on the effect of blue solid-state light on alertness and cognitive performance. Jefferson’s IRB has formally approved the protocol. In parallel, we are establishing polysomnography and behavioral testing techniques for this project. The LRP staff had their first polysomnography training session on 7/9/08. Once the polysomnography and behavioral testing techniques are operational, we plan to begin subject recruitment for the first alertness study, possibly before the start of year 3 funding.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 02/10/2021)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard G, Hanifin J, Lockley S, Warfield B, James M, Cecil K, West K, Jablonski M, Bynre B, Rollag M. "Developing light as a countermeasure for circadian and sleep problems in space exploration." Light and Health Research Foundation Symposium on Light, Performance and Quality of Life, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, November 8, 2007.

Light and Health Research Foundation Proceedings: Symposium on Light, Performance, and Quality of Life, Abstract Book, November 2007. , Nov-2007

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC. "Phototransduction for melatonin regulation: The magic of illumination." FASEB Summer Research Conference: Melatonin Receptors: Actions and Therapeutics, Snowmass Village, CO, August 10-15, 2008.

FASEB Summer Research Conference: Melatonin Receptors: Actions and Therapeutics Proceedings, 2008. , Aug-2008

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Gooley JJ, Rajaratnam SM W, Brainard GC, Kronauer RE, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. "The spectral sensitivity of human circadian photoreception is dynamic and changes depending on the irradiance and duration of light." Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, 20th Anniversary Meeting, Destin, Florida, May 17-21, 2008.

Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, 20th Anniversary Meeting, Program and Abstracts, 2008. p. 94. , May-2008

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Gooley JJ, Rajaratnam SM, Brainard GC, Kronauer R, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. "Spectral sensitivity of the human circadian timing system." Aerospace Medical Association 79th Annual Scientific Meeting, Boston, MA, May 11-15, 2008.

Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine. 2008 Mar;79(3):266-7. , Mar-2008

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Gooley J, Brainard G, Rajaratnam S, Kronauer R, Czeisler C, Lockley S. "Spectral sensitivity of the human circadian timing system." worldsleep07. 5th Congress of the World Federation of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Societies, Cairns, Australia., September 2-6, 2007.

Sleep and Biological Rhythms. 2007 Aug;5(s1):A22. , Aug-2007

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Brainard GC, Sliney D, Hanifin JP, Glickman G, Byrne B, Greeson JM, Jasser S, Gerner E, Rollag MD. "Sensitivity of the human circadian system to short-wavelength (420-nm) light." J Biol Rhythms. In press, February 2008. , Feb-2008
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Zaidi FH, Hull JT, Peirson SN, Wulff K, Aeschbach D, Gooley JJ, Brainard GC, Gregory-Evans K, Rizzo JF 3rd, Czeisler CA, Foster RG, Moseley MJ, Lockley SW. "Short-wavelength light sensitivity of circadian, pupillary, and visual awareness in humans lacking an outer retina." Curr Biol. 2007 Dec 18;17(24):2122-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2007.11.034 ; PMID: 18082405 , Dec-2007
Awards Brainard GC. "Invited Keynote Speaker at the Light and Health Symposium, San Francisco, CA, March 2008." Mar-2008
Awards Brainard GC. "Invited Keynote Speaker at the Light and Health Research Foundation Congress, Eindhoven, Netherlands, November 2007." Nov-2007
Awards Brainard GC. "Invited Session Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Pineal Cell Biology, Barga, Italy, April 2008." Apr-2008
Books/Book Chapters Brainard GC, Veitch JA. "Lighting and Health Workshop - Final Report." in "CIE Quadrennium 26th Session." Vienna : CIE, 2007. p. 550-553., Jul-2007
Books/Book Chapters Doghramji K, Brainard GC, Balaicuis JM. "Sleep and sleep disorders." in "Integrative Psychiatry." Ed. B. Beitman, D.A. Monti. New York : Oxford University Press, in press as of May 2008., May-2008
Books/Book Chapters James M, Brainard GC. "Photoreception for Light and Human Health." in "CIE Quadrennium 26th Session." Vienna : CIE, 2007. p. 486-494., Jul-2007
Significant Media Coverage Donoff E. "Light's impact on health is playing a central role in design. The article specifically mentions NSBRI." Architectural Lighting Magazine, March 5, 2008., Mar-2008
Significant Media Coverage Svensson P. "Article entitled, 'Business of Life: Night lights, too bright' was featured on many websites including New York Times and CBS news and over 20 other notable sources including MSNBC.com where it appeared on the front page with a large picture. The article describes Dr. Brainard's research and he is quoted several times." Associated Press, July 29, 2008., Jul-2008
Project Title:  Blue Light for Enhancing Alertness in Space Missions Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2007 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 09/01/2006  
End Date: 08/31/2012  
Task Last Updated: 06/11/2008 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Brainard, George C. Ph.D. / Thomas Jefferson University 
Address:  Light Research Program 
1025 Walnut St., Room 507 
Philadelphia , PA 19107-5083 
Email: george.brainard@jefferson.edu 
Phone: 215-955-7644  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Thomas Jefferson University 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
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) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Sleep Gap 05:We need to identify environmental specifications and operational regimens for using light to prevent and mitigate health and performance decrements due to sleep, circadian, and neurobehavioral disruption, for flight, surface and ground crews, during all phases of spaceflight operations (IRP Rev E)
Task Description: The overall goal of this project is to study the efficacy of blue enriched polychromatic solid-state light for acutely enhancing alertness and cognitive performance in healthy men and women. The purpose of this work is to develop an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts as well as NASA ground crew.

This is a new, directed research project. To initiate the work, we proposed the following seven aims:

1) Assemble a team of investigators who will create a set of study designs to be run from 2006 to 2012.

2) Establish either collaborative, consultant or subcontract agreements for elements of the work which are best done outside of Thomas Jefferson University (TJU).

3) Write and secure Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of the first study design.

4) Design and fabricate the initial solid-state light sources for testing. These sources will serve as the independent variables in the initial study design.

5) Have an independent safety analysis completed on the solid-state lighting prototypes.

6) Purchase and calibrate equipment for assessing alertness and cognitive performance in the study volunteers.

7) Develop a multiyear plan for the development and testing of specific lighting technologies that can be installed in the CEV and other space exploration habitats for acutely enhancing astronaut and ground crew alertness.

Towards accomplishing the first two aims, written correspondence, phone calls and direct meetings were used to establish the team of investigators. Over the first year, a total of eight meetings were held: five meetings at TJU in Philadelphia, one in League City during the NASA Human Research Program Investigators Workshop, one at the External Advisory Committee meeting in Houston, and one at Johnson Space Center (JSC). As a result of these meetings, key collaborators who have formally agreed to participate on this project. These include James Maida of JSC's Habitability and Human Factors Branch; Charles Bowen, Ph.D. of Lockheed Martin's Human Factors Design team; David Dinges, Ph.D. and Namni Goel, Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania; Stephen Lockley, Ph.D. of Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School; David Sliney, Ph.D. of the U.S. Army Laser/Optical Radiation Program at Aberdeen Proving Ground; and Mark Rollag, Ph.D. of the University of Virginia. These collaborators will work with scientists and staff of TJU's Light Research Program (LRP) towards accomplishing the goals of this project. The collaborators will work on selected aspects of this project as per their expertise.

Progress towards the third aim involves the development of two experiments. Subject recruitment for the first experiment will be initiated during this month (the end of the first funding year) and the study will be completed in the second funding year. The second experiment will be initiated and run during the second year. The first experiment is a bench-marking study to characterize the biological potency of the prototype solid-state light source that is described below. A within-subjects, acute light-induced melatonin suppression study will be done with eight healthy men and women. This study will have two important outcomes. First, it will help characterize the biological efficacy of the prototype solid-state light source relative to monochromatic and polychromatic light sources previously studied in our lab. In addition, it will guide the selection of the light intensity that will be tested in the second study, which will focus on alertness. The IRB for the first study has been approved by TJU. The protocol for the second experiment, a two-day study on the alerting effects of blue light, is still being refined. Once the experimental design is completed, a separate IRB covering that work will be written and submitted for review.

Progress towards the fourth aim involves our collaboration with Apollo Light Systems, Inc., an industrial partner of NSBRI. Apollo has donated engineering time and materials to develop a large panel of narrowband blue LEDs. This light source will be the independent variable in the first two experiments discussed above. Working closely with an engineer from Apollo, we have modified the original prototype so it can provide a broad range of light intensities with no change to spectral output. Jefferson's LRP staff has thoroughly characterized the prototype radiometry and photometry. This light unit is now completely serviceable for experimental use.

Concerning our fifth aim, David Sliney, Ph.D. of Aberdeen Proving Ground has made a series of radiometric measurements of the prototype and has provided an independent safety analysis based on criteria from the American College of Government and Industrial Hygiene (ACGIH) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). His draft report confirms that the blue solid-state prototype operates "at all wavelengths and emission levels that are far below limits that are recognized as maximal safe exposure values." Once finalized, the report will be distributed to James Maida at JSC and Charles Bowen, Ph.D. of Lockheed Martin for review.

For our sixth aim, we have purchased and received polysomnography and psychomotor vigilance task equipment. Setup, testing, and calibration of this equipment has been initiated and will be completed prior to the start of our second experiment. This equipment will not be needed for the first bench-marking experiment.

Finally, for the seventh aim, extensive discussions have been held between TJU's LRP and the extramural collaborators concerning a multiyear plan for the development and testing of specific lighting technologies that can be installed in the CEV and other space exploration habitats for acutely enhancing astronaut and ground crew alertness. The specific experiments, experiment sequence, and technology development will be determined once data is available from the first two studies.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The knowledge we hope to gain from this research, though focused on spaceflight, will also benefit people here on Earth. The sleep deficits experienced by astronauts during space flight can be considered a threat to the success of space missions (Longnecker and Molins, 2005). The resulting physiological and behavioral changes caused by sleep and circadian disruption can lead to diminished alertness, cognitive ability and psychomotor performance (Dijk, et al., 2001). As a measure to counteract sleep disruptions, over 45% of all medications taken in space are sleep aids (Putcha, et al., 1999). Although the studies being considered in this project are focused on developing a non-pharmacological lighting countermeasure for space exploration, it is anticipated that there also will be significant benefits to civilians living on Earth. A significant portion of the global population suffers from chronic sleep loss and/or circadian-related disorders. Evidence for disease or illness occurring due to a disruption of circadian homeostasis has mounted significantly in the past several years. In the United States, 20 million Americans do shift work which interferes with a biologically healthy nocturnal sleep cycle (U.S. Congress OTA, 1991). This group has been shown to be more likely to suffer from a wide variety of ailments, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal distress, cognitive and emotional problems. Furthermore, recent epidemiological studies of female night-shift nurses have shown that they are statistically more likely to suffer from breast cancer and colon cancer compared to day shift workers. Our laboratory is involved in testing the hypothesis that exposure to light at night is a risk factor for cancer (Blask, et al., 2005).

Aside from evidence of a breakdown in physical health, the effects of circadian disruption and sleep loss have long been known to have potentially dangerous behavioral effects. Mental fatigue, diminished alertness, loss of psychomotor coordination and decreased physical performance are all commonly found in individuals with sleep loss, sleep debt, or circadian misalignment. The impact of these dangers affects many industries, including transportation, manufacturing, communications, and medicine. It has long been a source of concern for the military, as well. Additionally, many people experience the same effects due to air travel across several time zones. The U.S. Air Force has supported our laboratory in the past to study the acute alerting effects of light (French, et al., 1990; Brainard, et al., 1996).

A number of existing therapeutic interventions using light stand to benefit from enhancing our understanding of how different wavelengths of the spectrum affect human circadian and neurobehavioral regulation. A more efficient intervention with increased potency and/or fewer side-effects could result. One such disorder currently being treated with bright white light is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. It is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 Americans suffer from SAD or its milder version, subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder (sSAD) (Lam and Levitt, 1999). Similar bright white light interventions are also used for treating jetlag. Side effects from exposure to bright white light for this and other therapies include: hypomania, headache, vision problems, nausea, dizziness, and anxiety. Optimizing the light spectrum for specific affective and/or circadian-related disorders could deliver the same medical impact with lower levels of light intensity, and potentially fewer side-effects. Our group has initiated Phase I testing of light therapy with blue solid-state lighting for SAD patients (Glickman, et al., 2006).

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2007 
Task Progress: During this first project year, the team of investigators was established. They include James Maida of JSC’s Habitability and Human Factors Branch; Charles Bowen, Ph.D. of Lockheed Martin’s Human Factors Design team; David Sliney, Ph.D. of Aberdeen Proving Ground; David Dinges, Ph.D. and Namni Goel, Ph.D. of the University of Pennsylvania; Stephen Lockley, Ph.D. of Brigham and Womens Hospital; and Mark Rollag, Ph.D. of the University of Virginia. These collaborators will work with the scientists of our laboratory to fulfill the project goals.

For this project, we are collaborating with Apollo Light Systems, Inc., an NSBRI industrial partner, to develop a large panel of blue LEDs to serve as the independent variable in our first two experiments. Working closely with Apollo, we have modified the original prototype so it can be adjusted to provide a broad range of light intensities with no change in spectral output. Our laboratory has thoroughly characterized the prototype’s radiometry and photometry and it is now ready for use in our first two experiments.

Dr. David Sliney, a key collaborator on this project, has made a series of radiometric measurements of the prototype and has provided an independent safety analysis based on criteria from the American College of Government and Industrial Hygiene (ACGIH) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). His draft report confirms that the blue solid-state prototype operates “at all wavelengths and emission levels that are far below limits that are recognized as maximal safe exposure values.” Once finalized, the report will be distributed to James Maida at JSC and Charles Bowen, Ph.D. of Lockheed Martin for review.

This progress enables the initiation of the first experiment, a bench-marking study to characterize the biological potency of the prototype light. The study employs a within-subjects light-induced melatonin suppression protocol with healthy men and women. The study is approved by Jefferson’s IRB, and subject recruitment has been initiated. This study will be completed during the coming year and will have two important outcomes: it will help characterize the biological efficacy of the prototype light source relative to other light sources previously studied in our lab, and it will guide light intensity selection for the second experiment on the effect of blue light on alertness.

Our laboratory has acquired polysomnography and psychomotor vigilance task equipment for studying the alerting characteristics of this prototype light source. Although not needed for the first bench-marking experiment, setup, testing, and calibration of this equipment has been initiated and will be completed prior to the start of the alertness experiment. During the coming year, the alertness protocol design will be completed and a separate IRB covering that work will be submitted. Once IRB approval is granted, the study will be initiated.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 02/10/2021)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC, Hanifin JP, Rollag MD. "Photoreception for circadian, neuroendocrine and neurobehavioral regulation." 8th International Congress of Physiological Anthropology, Kamakura, Japan, October 9-14, 2006.

8th International Congress of Physiological Anthropology, October 2006. , Oct-2006

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Brainard GC. "Photoreception for the neurobehavioral effects of light in humans." 2nd CIE Expert Symposium on Light and Health, Ottawa, Canada, September 7-8, 2006.

2nd CIE Expert Symposium on Light and Health, September 2006. , Sep-2006

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Gooley JJ, Rajaratnam SM, Brainard GC, Kronauer RE, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. "Spectral sensitivity of the human circadian timing system." 72nd Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Symposium: Clocks & Rhythms; Cold Spring Harbor, NY, May 30-June 4, 2007.

72nd Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Symposium: Clocks & Rhythms, May 2007. , May-2007

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Hanifin JP, Brainard GC. "Photoreception for circadian, neuroendocrine, and neurobehavioral regulation." J Physiol Anthropol. 2007 Mar; 26(2):87-94. PMID: 17435349 , Mar-2007
Awards Brainard GC. "Invited Keynote Speaker at the Light and Wellbeing Symposium, London, United Kingdom, September 27, 2006." Sep-2006
Awards Brainard GC. "Invited Keynote Speaker at the 2nd International Commission on Illumination Expert Symposium on Light and Health, Ottawa, Canada September 7, 2006." Sep-2006
Awards Brainard GC. "Invited to teach a master's class at Lightfair International, New York, New York, May 9, 2007." May-2007
Papers from Meeting Proceedings Brainard GC, Provencio I. "Photoreception for the neurobehavioral effects of light in humans." 2nd CIE Expert Symposium for Light and Health, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, September 6-7, 2006.

Proceedings of the 2nd CIE Expert Symposium, 2006, p. 6-21. , Sep-2006

Significant Media Coverage Kreykenbohm S, Gronbach R. "Interview regarding the influence of light on human physiology and the future of research in the area. Article specifically describes NASA and NSBRI research." Light Live! 2007 Jan;8(1):4-9., Jan-2007
Significant Media Coverage Strong C. "Dr. Brainard provided information about NASA and NSBRI. Although the opening paragraph discusses astronaut risks, no more was included in the final print of the article." Neuropsychiatry Reviews. 2006 Sep;7(9):page 1,18-19., Sep-2006
Project Title:  Blue Light for Enhancing Alertness in Space Missions Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2006 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 09/01/2006  
End Date: 08/31/2012  
Task Last Updated: 05/20/2008 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Brainard, George C. Ph.D. / Thomas Jefferson University 
Address:  Light Research Program 
1025 Walnut St., Room 507 
Philadelphia , PA 19107-5083 
Email: george.brainard@jefferson.edu 
Phone: 215-955-7644  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Thomas Jefferson University 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-HPF00001 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
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) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Sleep Gap 05:We need to identify environmental specifications and operational regimens for using light to prevent and mitigate health and performance decrements due to sleep, circadian, and neurobehavioral disruption, for flight, surface and ground crews, during all phases of spaceflight operations (IRP Rev E)
Task Description: The overall goal of this project is to study the efficacy of blue enriched polychromatic solid-state light for acutely enhancing alertness and cognitive performance in healthy men and women. The purpose of this work is to develop an in-flight lighting countermeasure for enhancing alertness in astronauts as well as NASA ground crew.

This is a new, directed research project. To initiate the work, we proposed the following seven aims:

1) Assemble a team of investigators who will create a set of study designs to be run from 2006 to 2012.

2) Establish either collaborative, consultant or subcontract agreements for elements of the work which are best done outside of Thomas Jefferson University (TJU).

3) Write and secure Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of the first study design.

4) Design and fabricate the initial solid-state light sources for testing. These sources will serve as the independent variables in the initial study design.

5) Have an independent safety analysis completed on the solid-state lighting prototypes.

6) Purchase and calibrate equipment for assessing alertness and cognitive performance in the study volunteers.

7) Develop a multiyear plan for the development and testing of specific lighting technologies that can be installed in the CEV and other space exploration habitats for acutely enhancing astronaut and ground crew alertness.

Towards accomplishing the first two aims, written correspondence, phone calls and direct meetings were used to establish the team of investigators. Over the first year, a total of eight meetings were held: five meetings at TJU in Philadelphia, one in League City during the NASA Human Research Program Investigators Workshop, one at the External Advisory Committee meeting in Houston, and one at Johnson Space Center (JSC). As a result of these meetings, key collaborators who have formally agreed to participate on this project. These include James Maida of JSC's Habitability and Human Factors Branch; Charles Bowen, Ph.D. of Lockheed Martin's Human Factors Design team; David Dinges, Ph.D. and Namni Goel, Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania; Stephen Lockley, Ph.D. of Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School; David Sliney, Ph.D. of the U.S. Army Laser/Optical Radiation Program at Aberdeen Proving Ground; and Mark Rollag, Ph.D. of the University of Virginia. These collaborators will work with scientists and staff of TJU's Light Research Program (LRP) towards accomplishing the goals of this project. The collaborators will work on selected aspects of this project as per their expertise.

Progress towards the third aim involves the development of two experiments. Subject recruitment for the first experiment will be initiated during this month (the end of the first funding year) and the study will be completed in the second funding year. The second experiment will be initiated and run during the second year. The first experiment is a bench-marking study to characterize the biological potency of the prototype solid-state light source that is described below. A within-subjects, acute light-induced melatonin suppression study will be done with eight healthy men and women. This study will have two important outcomes. First, it will help characterize the biological efficacy of the prototype solid-state light source relative to monochromatic and polychromatic light sources previously studied in our lab. In addition, it will guide the selection of the light intensity that will be tested in the second study, which will focus on alertness. The IRB for the first study has been approved by TJU. The protocol for the second experiment, a two-day study on the alerting effects of blue light, is still being refined. Once the experimental design is completed, a separate IRB covering that work will be written and submitted for review.

Progress towards the fourth aim involves our collaboration with Apollo Light Systems, Inc., an industrial partner of NSBRI. Apollo has donated engineering time and materials to develop a large panel of narrowband blue LEDs. This light source will be the independent variable in the first two experiments discussed above. Working closely with an engineer from Apollo, we have modified the original prototype so it can provide a broad range of light intensities with no change to spectral output. Jefferson's LRP staff has thoroughly characterized the prototype radiometry and photometry. This light unit is now completely serviceable for experimental use.

Concerning our fifth aim, David Sliney, Ph.D. of Aberdeen Proving Ground has made a series of radiometric measurements of the prototype and has provided an independent safety analysis based on criteria from the American College of Government and Industrial Hygiene (ACGIH) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). His draft report confirms that the blue solid-state prototype operates "at all wavelengths and emission levels that are far below limits that are recognized as maximal safe exposure values." Once finalized, the report will be distributed to James Maida at JSC and Charles Bowen, Ph.D. of Lockheed Martin for review.

For our sixth aim, we have purchased and received polysomnography and psychomotor vigilance task equipment. Setup, testing, and calibration of this equipment has been initiated and will be completed prior to the start of our second experiment. This equipment will not be needed for the first bench-marking experiment.

Finally, for the seventh aim, extensive discussions have been held between TJU's LRP and the extramural collaborators concerning a multiyear plan for the development and testing of specific lighting technologies that can be installed in the CEV and other space exploration habitats for acutely enhancing astronaut and ground crew alertness. The specific experiments, experiment sequence, and technology development will be determined once data is available from the first two studies.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The knowledge we hope to gain from this research, though focused on spaceflight, will also benefit people here on Earth. The sleep deficits experienced by astronauts during space flight can be considered a threat to the success of space missions (Longnecker and Molins, 2005). The resulting physiological and behavioral changes caused by sleep and circadian disruption can lead to diminished alertness, cognitive ability and psychomotor performance (Dijk, et al., 2001). As a measure to counteract sleep disruptions, over 45% of all medications taken in space are sleep aids (Putcha, et al., 1999).

Although the studies being considered in this project are focused on developing a non-pharmacological lighting countermeasure for space exploration, it is anticipated that there also will be significant benefits to civilians living on Earth. A significant portion of the global population suffers from chronic sleep loss and/or circadian-related disorders. Evidence for disease or illness occurring due to a disruption of circadian homeostasis has mounted significantly in the past several years. In the United States, 20 million Americans do shift work which interferes with a biologically healthy nocturnal sleep cycle (U.S. Congress OTA, 1991). This group has been shown to be more likely to suffer from a wide variety of ailments, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal distress, cognitive and emotional problems. Furthermore, recent epidemiological studies of female night-shift nurses have shown that they are statistically more likely to suffer from breast cancer and colon cancer compared to day shift workers. Our laboratory is involved in testing the hypothesis that exposure to light at night is a risk factor for cancer (Blask, et al., 2005).

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2006 
Task Progress: New project for FY2006.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 02/10/2021)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2006