Hyperbaric Oxygen And Autism

Can hyperbaric oxygen therapy help treat Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an umbrella term that encompasses numerous neurodevelopment disorders. These disorders manifest within the first three years of life and last throughout adulthood. Autism is characterized by impaired verbal and non-verbal communication. The prevalence of autism has dramatically increased within the past few decades, now affecting approximately 1-2% of the population. The cause of autism, however, remains largely unknown.

Traditionally, doctors recommend implementing a variety of therapies to treat autism, including various behavioral therapies, pharmaceutical therapies, and dietary therapies. These treatment options require extended periods of time and dedication, with little efficacy. Despite the lack of knowledge regarding the causes of autism, Dr. Rossingnol was inspired to investigate whether physical abnormalities in children with autism (cerebral hyperfusion, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, etc.) can be mitigated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and possibly improve the symptoms of autism.

In 2006, Rossignol and colleagues performed a comprehensive review of all the studies related to HBOT and autism abnormalities, including cerebral perfusion, inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

  • In regards to cerebral perfusion, Kinaci and colleagues found that HBOT led to significant blood flow improvement in children with autism.

  • Another issue is inflammation, which has persistently been documented in children with autism. Since HBOT has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects in humans, it could also possibly help treat the inflammation associated with autism.

  • A comprehensive review of physiological abnormalities in children with autism found 145 publications that indicated mitochondrial dysfunction is a physical attribute of autism. Since HBOT has been proven to improve mitochondrial function in animal models, HBOT might also help mitochondrial function in humans. However, more studies are needed to make this conclusion.

"Parents who are searching for solutions do not have a lifetime to wait for the entire scientific community to catch up to what controlled studies and case studies have already demonstrated"

The effectiveness of HBOT for autism has been a hot topic of debate amongst scientists. Proponents of HBOT for autism include the Autism Research Institute and the Center for Autism Research and Education.

Even though the FDA has not yet approved HBOT for autism, parents who are searching for solutions do not have a lifetime to wait for the entire scientific community to catch up to what controlled studies and case studies have already demonstrated – there is recorded benefit with little to no risk in using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat autism.

Today’s healthcare challenges and tomorrow’s breakthroughs can only be solved by those who search for deeper explanations of the body’s processes. At Aalto Hyperbaric, we are committed to our patients’ health. In order to provide the best possible care for our patients, we rely on critical scientific analysis to evaluate evidence. Our goal is to help you make the best decision for your health and to help you heal on your terms.

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