Hyperbaric Oxygen And Brain Injury

Can hyperbaric oxygen therapy help treat concussions or traumatic brain injury?

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) is one of the leading causes of diminished mental capacity. It is also a major contributing factor to cognitive disability for school age children, teenagers and college players. TBI can be caused by various factors, including falls, motor vehicle accidents, intentional self-hard, or other blows to the head. Military personnel have additional risk factors, including exposure to explosive devices. Fortunately, with the advent of improved treatment protocols and stronger medications, more patients are recovering from mTBI than ever before. 

The patients who suffer from mTBI often experience post-concussion syndrome. These symptoms include dizziness, headaches, PTSD, and other general cognitive impairments. Post-concussion syndrome symptoms can last anywhere between a few months to a lifetime. Traditional treatments for post-concussion syndrome include medication, surgery, and rehabilitation. However, treatment options are generally limited. When not treated thoroughly, especially in pediatric patients, TBI can cause severe disabilities in academics, behavior, cognitive function, and interpersonal skills.

In the past few years, scientists have found growing evidence that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can dramatically improve symptoms of traumatic brain injury, postconcussion syndrome, and subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sackler School of Medicine has been a leader in investigating the effects of HBOT and TBI. In 2015, the school conducted a study to examine blood flow in the brain for TBI patients’ pre and post-HBOT therapy. The results indicated the patients had increased blood flow to the brain after HBOT treatments, which suggests HBOT may lead to the development of more blood vessels (angiogenesis) in the brain. Angiogenesis is essential for health, as it is the body’s natural healing process.

"Former American Professional football player, Joe Namath, took a personal approach to promote the positive effects of HBOT"

In 2018, the school conducted another study to investigate the neurotherapeutic benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The study looked at patients suffering from traumatic brain injury and/or postconcussion syndrome. This study was comprised of 154 patients who were experiencing chronic neurocognitive damage from traumatic brain injuries. Each patient underwent extensive medical, cognitive evaluations, pre-HBOT, and post-HBOT treatment. The patients who were treated with HBOT showed significant improvements in their memory, attention, and overall cognitive function. Pre and post-CT scans showed these cognitive improvements were most likely due to increased brain activity.

Former American professional football player, Joe Namath, took a personal approach to promote the positive effects of HBOT through ESPN interviews and The Howard Stern Show, where he recounts how HBOT helped him recover from decades of untreated brain damage.

The evidence and case studies discussed suggest that HBOT can be used as an adjunct therapy to speed up recovery and improve symptoms of concussions. If you are searching for effective ways to recover from a concussion or other brain-injury, please contact our staff and see how Aalto Hyperbaric can aid in your recovery.

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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