Significant benefits continue to demonstrate the effectiveness of this treatment option
Cerebral palsy : the hyperbaric treatment is effective –
April 10, 2014 | Pauline Gravel Le Devoir| Science and technology
Photo: The Canadian Press (photo) Sean Kilpatrick
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which consists of breathing oxygen at high concentrations , particularly promotes the healing of wounds and serious infections.
A new study shows that hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves motor and brain function of children with cerebral palsy.
This study confirms the positive results that were obtained in 1998 at the Sainte- Justine hospital and at the time , had been attacked and beaten in the face . ” Government officials have tried to believe that all the impressive improvements that had been observed [ with hyperbaric treatment ] were due to a placebo effect ,” recalls the physiatrist Pierre Marois , who had participated in the pilot project and collaborated on the new study, the clinical trials were conducted in India.
150 children with cerebral palsy who participated in the recent study received intensive rehabilitation ( two hours per day, six days a week for six months). Eighty percent of these children were also subjected to a hyperbaric treatment at a session of one hour per day, six days a week for seven weeks. Three different treatments , distinguished by the applied pressure ( 1.3 , 1.5 and 1.75 atmospheres) and the concentration of oxygen diffused ( 21 % and 100 % oxygen ) were tested on three groups of separate children.
When the researchers assessed the state of children six and eight months after the start of treatment, they found that children who underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy had improved three times more than those who received only intensive rehabilitation . “Some have been able to walk for the first time , others have uttered the first words out of their lives after their hyperbaric treatment ,” says Dr. Marois, before explaining that the three treatments were as effective as each other . Moreover , even the children who received only intensive rehabilitation had made significant progress . And in any case, the improvements ” appeared permanent .”
These results, which are published in the journal Undersea Hyperbaric Medicine corroborate those recently obtained by Israel in adults with ongoing effects of a cerebral vascular accident or head injury. “Some patients have begun to use a member who was paralyzed. In addition, images of the brains of these patients, we have seen that areas that were completely inactive initially worked again after hyperbaric treatment , “said Dr. Marois .
” By raising oxygen levels in the brain, hyperbaric treatments can restart cells that had not been destroyed but had been shaken by the initial injury to the point of being in a state of inertia. They stimulate blood circulation in the brain and the creation of new vessels. They increase cell metabolism. They increase the number of circulating stem cells in the brain . They reactivate restorative , and mechanisms of cell repair cells, ” he says.
With this new study, it becomes clear that this treatment can significantly improve the quality of life of patients , insists Dr. Marois . He hoped thus, we facilitate access to treatment and the RAMQ will agree to pay .