Traumatic brain injury is characterized by altered consciousness or loss of consciousness with varying severities of injury (mild, moderate, or severe) that are proportional to the force of injury and cause anywhere from temporary neurologic dysfunction to death. Up to 55% of all mild TBI patients develop the persistent post-concussion syndrome characterized by cognitive symptoms, headache, irritability, sleep disruption, fatigue, dizziness, depression, anxiety, apathy, and change in personality.
HBOT is the only therapy that directly treats the underlying disease processes of TBI (decreased oxygen, decreased blood flow, swelling of the brain, constriction of blood vessels, acidosis, anaerobic metabolism). HBOT has been shown in multiple studies to have the greatest reduction in mortality of any therapy.
One to three sessions of HBOT in the acute period can decrease the mortality by 50-60% There is very little published experience of HBOT in mild TBI, but in Dr. Harch’s career he has treated many patients within the first week after concussion/mild TBI. With mild TBI after just a few treatments, many patients experience near complete or complete relief of symptoms. For patients with the persistent post-concussion syndrome, HBOT is the most effective therapy known. HBOT is effective in relieving symptoms brain related combat injuries and can create a reduction in suicide ideation in veterans.
There are a wide range of benefits, but the treatment of hbot have resulted in patients generally experiencing partial or complete reversal of the neurologicaldeficit. The most important factor in HBOT treatment of stroke has been the proper dosing of HBOT, based on the type of stroke, and time of intervention. While the best results are derived from early application of HBOT, most patients don’t get HBOT until years after their stroke.
Even in these chronic cases, which comprise the bulk of stroke patients can still experience improvement in their motor, sensory, cognitive, gait, balance, and other symptoms. One of the most comprehensive reviews of HBOT in stroke is presented by Dr. Jain in the Textbook of Hyperbaric Medicine. The net result of all studies and the treatment of over 2000 stroke patients is a beneficial effect of HBOT on all phases of stroke.
Autism or Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental disorders that are defined by behavioral observations and are characterized by impairments in communication and social interaction along with restrictive and repetitive behaviors . ASD includes autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). An estimated 1 out of 110 individuals in the United States is currently affected with an ASD……
Recently, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has increased in popularity as a treatment for autism. Numerous studies document oxidative stress and inflammation in individuals with autism; both of these conditions have demonstrated improvement with HBOT, along with enhancement of neurological function and cognitive performance. Children with autism were treated with HBOT at atmospheric pressures and oxygen concentrations in current use for this condition. Changes in markers of oxidative stress and inflammation were measured. The children were evaluated to determine clinical effects and safety.
Pre- and post-parental observations indicated statistically significant improvements in both groups, including motivation, speech, and cognitive awareness (p < 0.05). No major adverse events were observed.
It has been demonstrated that the majority of patients affected by ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) have high levels of inflammation, compromised blood flow and low oxygen delivery to certain parts of the body. HBOT has been shown in clinical data to help decrease inflammation and reintroduce oxygen and blood flow to affected areas, including affected regions in the brain. This has demonstrated to help improve overall functioning, receptive language, speech and eye contact scores. Additionally, it has been shown to help decrease irritability, hyperactivity and inflammatory markers including TNF-alpha and C-reactive protein levels.
Completing a minimum of 40 hours of therapy within 30 days is the most highly recommended protocol for HBOT, regardless of the pressure. This recommendation parallels clinical data and directly correlates to the best results that have been seen and recorded.
HBOT works in MS by repairing the wounds to the nerve fibers and inhibiting inflammation. Benefits from HBOToften include increased mobility, reduced fatigue, and improved equilibratory coordination. Urinary symptoms also improve, as well as nystagmus and spasticity. The most rigorous study ever performed using HBOT-treatment of MS was published in one of the most prestigious medical journals, the New England Journal of Medicine, in 1983.
The study showed a statistically significant improvement in HBOT-treated MS patients compared to the control group. Patients experienced increased mobility, reduced fatigability, and improved equilibratory coordination, along with improved urinary symptoms, improvements in nystagmus (rapid beating of the eyes), and improvements in spasticity. At the one year follow-up, deterioration occurred in 12% of the HBOT group vs. 55% of the control group. In other words, HBOT had a sustained effect and prevented further deterioration.
When ten to fourteen year follow-up studies were performed on MS patients in England receiving long-term treatment (one treatment every 2-4 weeks) patients demonstrate maintenance and even improvement in neurological function.
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that are characterized by problems with movement, balance, and posture. C.P is a neurological disorder, the symptoms of cerebral palsy result from injury to the areas of the brain that affect motor function. These injuries can occur at any point during pregnancy, birth, or in early childhood. The symptoms and severity of symptoms will vary from person to person, by the type of CP, and by the number of arms and legs affected. Someone with severe CP might not be able to walk at all. Someone with mild CP might simply walk a little awkwardly. Some can have all four limbs affected, others just the legs, one side of the body, or just an arm or leg.
When standard medical approaches are not working, HBOT can be a great way to improve a cerebral palsy patient’s quality of life. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy seeks to remedy this by increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood by up to 2000 percent, which increases the amount of oxygen in the actual cells of the body. This increase in oxygen helps white blood cells kill bacteria, reduces swelling in the brain, and helps new blood vessels grow in damaged areas. HBOT has been shown to aid in tissue swelling, and some experts believe that secondary (dormant) areas of the brain may be revived through this form of therapy.
HBOT has emerged as an effective treatment for some patients who previously had little hope of recovering from late side effects of radiotherapy. HBOT increases the amount of oxygen in the blood by exposing patients to pure oxygen within a sealed chamber set at pressures greater than the ambient atmosphere, with results that can be measured using a transcutaneous partial pressure oxygen (TCPO2) monitor before and after treatment. Experts believe HBOT helps patients by stimulating growth of new blood vessels following radiation-induced damage.
HBOT has shown to be effective in the treatment of radiation necrosis. Radiotherapy treatment for cancers is common and may result in the destruction of tissue blood supply; therefore, the tissue becomes hypoxic, hypovascular, and hypocellular. Resulting in osteoradionecrosis, radiation cystitis, and mandibular radionecrosis. HBOT works to improve both oxygen and blood supply to the damaged tissue.
*In beginning stages often covered by insurance
Burns are classified by severity and percent of the total skin surface area of the body involved. First degree burns are partial thickness of the skin layers. The best example is a mild sunburn where the skin is just red. Second degree burns involve more layers of the skin and are characterized by redness, swelling, and blistering. Third degree burns kill all layers of the skin and affect the underlying tissue. The skin in these burns is often white showing no blood flow and oxygen or charred black. Fourth degree burns kill all layers of the skin and deeper tissues, including fat, muscle, tendon, and even bone. A typical description of a burn is “37% BSA (body surface area) burn with 10% third degree and 27% second degree.”
The benefit of HBOT for people with burn injuries is a result of its treatment of swelling, damaged blood supply to burned skin, and inflammation. One of the most widespread uses of HBOT in any injury is to treat swelling and bruising while also boosting the immune system. This can be lifesaving and prevent partial thickness burns from progressing to third degree.
*Covered by insurance in many cases.
When it comes to the treatment of PTSD, the majority of the focus centers around combat veterans who frequently exhibit symptoms suggestive of mild traumatic brain injury even though they have not been diagnosed with a TBI. The acute damage frequently results in chronic psychological and neurological symptoms that can be difficult to treat, including headaches, memory and attention deficits, and mood swings. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder caused by a stressful event and the subsequent memories of it, has been diagnosed in a proportion of TBI patients. In one study, participants suffering from chronic neurological deficits due to traumatic brain injury (TBI) were treated with 40–70 daily hyperbaric sessions, 5 days a week. Each session consisted of 60/90minutes of exposure to 100% oxygen at 1.5/2 ATA.
HBOT was associated with significant cognitive improvements. The clinical improvements were well correlated with increased activity in the relevant brain areas. The most striking changes observed in brain single photon emission computed tomography images were in the anterior cingulate and the postcentral cortex, in the prefrontal areas and in the temporal areas.
Wounds need oxygen to be able to heal. One of the main purposes and effects of HBOT is hyperoxygenation, which means that the blood can carry and deliver an increased amount of oxygen to the rest of the body. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment has been used and reimbursed for wound care for decades because of the rapid increase in healing that takes place. HBOT reduces swelling, improves circulation, and stimulates growth of new connective tissue, blood vessels, bone, and skin. HBOT is essentially painless and can speed up recovery time by multiple days or weeks. This means a faster return home, to work, and to normal function. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment for post-surgical recovery has also been known to reduce scarring, which can be life-changing in cases of skin grafts or severe burns.
After surgery, every patient experiences some level of discomfort, pain, or long-term healing. Swelling, inflammation, and bruising are the usual culprits as well as the anesthetic agents themselves. The benefits of having surgery almost always outweigh the impairments that can come with it. Surgery, however, causes wounding of tissue, such as compromised skin grafts or flaps. From the cutting incision to cautery (burning of tissue), pulling, stretching, removal of diseased tissue, and suturing there is wounding of tissue. This tissue wounding is responsible for the temporary and sometimes permanent disability as well as intensive care needed for patients after surgery. It is also responsible for the risk of infection after surgery. In addition to these wounding effects, complications can occur during or after surgery. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment post-surgery can decrease a person’s recovery time significantly and elevate their postoperative quality of living.
*Compromised skin graft and flaps often covered by insurance.
ADD/ADHD are caused by various neurological imbalances: lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain, brainwave disparity, and brain chemical deficiencies. In essence, the affected brain, operating with a less than optimal oxygen supply, begins under and over-producing certain chemicals, which negatively affects mood, behavior, and overall function.
HBOT targets deficiency in the brain by using oxygen in a medical, pressurized environment. When you breathe under pressure, oxygen levels build more rapidly and infuse the system beyond its normal capacity. Since lack of oxygen creates the downward spiral of neurological dysfunction, attacking the underlying cause of ADD/ADHD is the primary goal of hyperbaric oxygen treatment. With this non-invasive, painless therapy, the brain begins to heal itself by having its oxygen supply replenished. As a result, overall brain function improves, as does the ability to focus and control impulses on a day-to-day basis. Those who have used HBOT to treat these conditions have reported fewer mood swings and instances of irrational or impulsive behavior. In more severe cases, this treatment has helped in combination with other therapies.
Lyme disease is a disease spread through tick bites and is one of the most common airborne diseases in the US. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 30,000 cases are reported annually. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to people by infected deer ticks. While short term victims of Lyme disease report symptoms such as bull -eye rash, fever, flu-like symptoms, migraines, fatigue, joint and muscle pains, a high number of cases are misdiagnosed and immediately grow into a more severe illness called late disseminated Lyme.
Early treatment with antibiotics can cure Lyme disease Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is great in this situation, as it has been shown to help treat Lyme disease. Patients treated with 100% pure O2 show significant improvement in symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is a painful and devastating disease. It causes damage to the lives of the person suffering with the disease as well as suffering for their families. The pain, weakness, fatigue, sleep problems and brain impairments are crippling. Many fibromyalgia patients have lesions in their brains that show up on brain scans. In December 2018, a study of fibromyalgia patients showed that hyperbaric oxygen therapy heals these lesions, leading patient brain function to improve dramatically.
Patients’ brain scans were taken prior to hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT), then again after 60 hyperbaric oxygen treatments, using two types of brain imaging. The study showed there was often a reduction in, and in some cases the complete resolution of, the lesions found in patients with fibromyalgia. The researchers found that 70% of the patients in the study also showed dramatic improvement in their symptoms. In fact, many of the patients no longer met the medical criteria of fibromyalgia. In addition, these patients’ brain functions improved dramatically, and their brain imaging showed significant improvement.
HBOT as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of ulcers and various wounds that have failed an adequate course of standard wound therapy. Another study found that HBOT for diabetic foot ulcers was When it comes to diabetic wounds in the lower extremities, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has proven to be significantly effective in the complete healing of the foot ulcer, as well as reduction of major amputation.
Diabetic foot ulcer is a pathological condition that arises from diabetes and represents a major health problem throughout the world and is defined as a foot affected by ulceration that is associated with neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease of the lower limb in a person with diabetes. HBOT can prove effective as an adjunct therapy due to its effects on improving wound tissue hypoxia, enhancing perfusion, reducing edema, downregulating inflammatory cytokines, promoting fibroblast proliferation, collagen production, and angiogenesis.
* Covered by Insurance
Migraines can affect anyone, but women are about three times more likely to get migraines than men. In addition, people who have family members with a history of migraines are more likely to experience them. People experiencing migraines typically describe them as an intense pulsing or throbbing pain on one side of the head. These symptoms occur frequently and last for hours, generally between 4 to 72 hours. While these headaches might start off milder and more infrequently, they can increase in both frequency and severity over time. Eventually, they might cause significant disability and loss of productivity and thus quality of life. Brain imaging studies have even shown that migraines can cause long-term permanent injury to the brain.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment of migraines involves inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. This process enhances the body’s natural healing process and works as part of an overall medical care plan. When delivered at the time of acute migraine, HBOT can help by constricting the dilated blood vessels that cause the pulsing sensation.
HBOT can essentially decrease the risks of infection by detoxifying the body of harmful toxins produced by infectious agents. Alongside, as it also increases the oxygen concentration in the tissues, it helps them resist infection.
Heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium can infiltrate the body at any developmental stage and cause neuroinflammation. An overload of heavy metals from foods and the environment can cause numerous problems throughout the body. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has many health benefits: It accelerates the detoxification process as it helps clear toxins that are stored in the brain because of alcohol and drug abuse and is especially beneficial for liver damaged patients; Years of alcohol and drug abuse can result in brain damage and cognitive impairment. Lastly, it strengthens the activity of leukocytes, that are the white blood cells to fight any developing infections or free radicals.
PD is a progressive neurological disorder affecting at least 500,000 people in the United States. Parkinsonian Syndrome (PS) includes the idiopathic or typical PD which accounts for 85% of PS cases, neuroleptic-induced which accounts for 7-9% of PS and is reversible, and other types such as progressive supra nuclear palsy, multiple systems atrophy, corticobasal degeneration, vascular, toxins, and recurrent head trauma, all accounting for less than 10% of cases.
It has been demonstrated that even early-stage PD exhibits a subnormal response to hypoxia. A discrepancy in ventilatory response to isocapnic, progressive hypoxic rebreathing in PD patients under minor and severe hypoxia was felt to be due to a dysfunction in chemoreception. The reduction in alveolar ventilation could not be attributed to mechanical restriction of lung function and was unrelated to whether the patient was being treated with dopaminergic drugs. Systemic inflammation is a major contributor to the development of PD. Studies show that treating systemic inflammation can help to reduce the severity of PD symptoms and improve quality of life.
HBOT treatment has been shown to be an effective treatment for reducing inflammation and balancing cerebral glucose metabolism in patients with PD. This therapy may help to improve symptoms and quality of life for patients with this debilitating disease.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a physical and mental disorder that causes you to experience extreme fatigue. People with chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, experience extreme fatigue that does not get better with rest. They also experience various other symptoms that can seriously interfere with day-to-day function. If you have CFS, you face an ongoing challenge of coping and adjustment.
HBOT has been shown to be an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. HBOT relieves cellular hypoxia, increases oxygen delivery to the brain which alleviates fatigue.
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