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Human Performance Optimization: Ketone Esters for Optimization of Operator Performance in Hypoxia

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Special Operations Command
Contract: H9222218P0035
Agency Tracking Number: S17C-001-0005
Amount: $137,327.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: SOCOM17C-001
Solicitation Number: 2017.0
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-05-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-11-19
Small Business Information
505 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States
DUNS: 079663453
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Brianna Stubbs
 (628) 224-4908
Business Contact
 Geoffrey Geoffrey
Phone: (310) 561-5238
Research Institution
 Florida Institute of Machine and Human Cognition
 Dawn Kernagis
40 S Alcaniz St
Pensacola, FL 32502
United States

 (850) 202-4434
 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

In the setting of altitude-induced hypoxia, operator cognitive capacity degrades and can compromise both individual and team performance. This degradation is linked to falling brain energy (ATP) levels and an increased reliance on anaerobic energy production from glucose. Ketone bodies are the evolutionary alternative substrate to glucose for brain metabolic requirements; previous studies have shown that the presence of elevated ketone bodies (ketosis) maintains brain ATP levels and reduce cerebral anaerobic glycolysis during hypoxia. Ketosis can be achieved when fasting or following a ketogenic diet; however, these approaches are impractical for military operators in the field. Exogenous ketone ester supplementation allows for rapid (< 30 mins) and significant elevation of blood ketone levels without the need to maintain a diet or fast.HVMN, in collaboration with researchers at IHMC, proposes a study to investigate the effects of consuming an FDA-approved ketone ester food on operationally relevant cognitive performance in the setting of hypoxia. For the proposed 4-arm within-subject study, participants will complete a cognitive performance test battery under the conditions of normoxia or hypoxia following consumption of a ketone ester drink or a placebo drink. We hypothesize that ketone ester supplementation will attenuate hypoxia-induced deterioration of operator cognitive performance.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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