Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) is a medical treatment that uses pure oxygen to alleviate hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, at the cellular level. In North America, HBO is an accepted intervention for wound healing, the bends and carbon monoxide poisoning. If everyone accepts that HBO increases oxygen at the cellular level for burns and wounds, why not in the brain too?
Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy has been used to treat patients with numerous
disorders, including stroke. This treatment has been shown to decrease cerebral edema,
normalize water content in the brain, decrease the severity of brain infarction, and
maintain blood-brain barrier integrity. In addition, HBO therapy attenuates motor deficits,
decreases the risks of sequelae, and prevents recurrent cerebral circulatory disorders,
thereby leading to improved outcomes and survival.
Some parents of children with cerebral palsy and other forms of brain damage say a
treatment long used by doctors for other conditions has brought what seem like nearmiraculous
advances in kids who hadn't been able to talk, walk or feed themselves.
The treatment -- hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT -- delivers pure oxygen at higherthan-normal
pressures to patients sitting or lying in a chamber. Although there is no proof,
advocates believe that in brain damage cases the extra oxygen can prompt dormant or
damaged neurons to become reinvigorated.
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The logic for using hyperbaric oxygen treatment for developmental disorders
relates to the auto-immune and/or viral theory of these conditions. Hyperbaric
oxygen has been studied for auto-immune disorders and found to be helpful.
[References for this will be posted soon]. Encephalitis, in this theory, is thought to
be part of developmental disorders. The encephalitis can be initiated by viral
infection, by exposure to vaccines, and/or by other auto-immune processes (the
result of exposure to abnormal opioid-like substances from the opioid excess
hypothesis, for example).
Two treatments have halted disease
progression or have even reduced disability
in some patients with multiple
sclerosis. a central nervous system disease
that afflicts a quarter-million Americans.
Until now, only the steroid hormone
ACTH has been shown to have any impact
on the disorder, and even it was found to
only shorten acute disease attacks.