Individuals with chronic traumatic brain injuries (TBI) showed a significant reduction in symptoms such as post-concussion symptoms, cognition, and behavioral emotional problems with hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. In the study (NCT02089594), 63 civilian and military participants had 40 hyperbaric oxygen treatments for 8 weeks or a no-treatment control period. The treatment resulted in significant improvements in participants who had hyperbaric oxygen treatment compared with the control group.
By applying hyperbaric oxygen to brain injuries, significant improvements were made on postconcussion symptoms such as memory, cognitive functions, depression, anxiety, sleep, and quality of life in civilian and military participants who had TBIs. Also, 80% to 90% of participants with headaches, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, depression, and anxiety experienced improvement in these symptoms.
“This study is important because it reinforces what we have thought to be true about the possibility for hyperbaric therapy to improve patients with TBI,” said Dr. Paul G. Harch, an Emergency Medicine and Undersea/Hyperbaric Medicine clinical physician and full clinical professor of medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center “TBI can impact any person at any time, whether they be a civilian who experienced an accident or a military person who was injured in combat. Understanding these injuries and learning that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can have a real impact on their lives is significant. It means that we can offer help to the nearly one million people within the US who are diagnosed with permanent effects of concussion every year and the many millions more who have been living with TBI for years.”
“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been described as a treatment for wounds in any location in the body and of any duration. Over time, we have learned that traumatic brain Injuries are considered to be wounds to the brain, which makes hyperbaric oxygen therapy a scientifically logical application to this kind of injury,” Dr. Harch said. “This study, the first of its kind in civilians and military veterans, proves that HBOT is effective in relieving symptoms in both military and civilian TBI patients.”
Chen Zhao, MD; Claire Flaherty, PhD; Paul J. Eslinger, PhD; and Krishnankutty Sathian, MBBS, PhD
Claire Smyth, BSc; David Roberts, BSc; and Kenneth Monaghan, PhD
Natalia P. Rocha, PharmD, MSc, PhD; Gabriela D. Colpo, PhD; Antonio L. Teixeira, MD, PhD, MSc; and Erin Furr Stimming, MD