Barbara Stahura, CJF, Brain Injury Journey magazine
HBOT: A Way to Heal the Injured Brain?
When SCUBA divers ascend from the high atmospheric pressure of the depths, it’s important to come up slowly so their bodies adjust to the low pressure at the surface. If they ascend too quickly, they will become ill with the “bends,” or decompression sickness, and require some time in a hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) chamber receiving 100 percent oxygen under higher atmospheric pressure. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been found to also be helpful in a variety of other conditions, including crush injuries, acute carbon monoxide poisoning, and diabetic wounds.

HBOT is also used to treat brain injury from trauma or another cause such as stroke. While the number of people who have used HBOT for brain injury is unknown, its popularity is growing. However, insurance generally does not cover it nor has the FDA approved it for this use. Some older clinical studies do not demonstrate the effectiveness of HBOT with brain injury, but a growing number of more recent studies do.

One study, from 2009, demonstrated that the patients with severe brain injury who received higher levels of oxygen in an HBO chamber had a positive increase in brain metabolism when compared to the control group and the group who received “normobaric” treatment, or treatment with pressure equivalent to sea level (Rockswald & Rockswald, 2010).

Read the full article at Brain Line