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Autogenic-Feedback Training: A Potential Treatment for Orthostatic Intolerance in Aerospace CrewsPostflight orthostatic intolerance has been identified as a serious biomedical problem associated with long-duration exposure to microgravity in space. High priority has been given to the development of countermeasures for this disorder that are both effective and practical. A considerable body of clinical research has demonstrated that people can be taught to increase their own blood pressure voluntarily, and that this is an effective treatment for chronic orthostatic intolerance in paralyzed patients. The current pilot study was designed to examine the feasibility of adding training in control of blood pressure to an existing preflight training program designed to facilitate astronaut adaptation to microgravity. Using an operant conditioning procedure, autogenic-feedback training (AFT), three men and two women participated in four to nine training (15-30-minute) sessions. At the end of training, the average increase in systolic and diastolic pressure, as well as mean arterial pressures, that the subjects made ranged between 20 and 50 mm Hg under both supine and 45 deg head-up tilt conditions. These findings indicate that AFT may be a useful alternative treatment or supplement to existing approaches for preventing postflight orthostatic intolerance. Furthermore, the use of operant conditioning methods for training cardiovascular responses may contribute to the general understanding of the mechanisms of orthostatic intolerance.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Cowings, P. S.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Toscano, W. B.
(Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Inst. San Francisco, CA United States)
Miller, N. E.
(California Univ. San Francisco, CA United States)
Pickering, T. G.
(Yale Univ. New Haven, CT United States)
Shapiro, D.
(Cornell Univ. New York, NY United States)
Stevenson, J.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Maloney, S.
(Bionetics Corp. Moffett Field, CA United States)
Knapp, J.
(Bionetics Corp. Moffett Field, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Publisher: J. B. Lippincott Company
Volume: 34
Issue: 6
Subject Category
Behavioral Sciences
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:112812
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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