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Hyperbaric Oxygenation to Heal a Brain Wound

The US DOD’s largest study to date on the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen in the treatment of Persistent Post-Concussive Syndrome finds hyperbaric treatments were associated with significant improvements in post- concussion symptoms and secondary outcomes, including PTSD (which most participants had), depression, sleep quality, satisfaction with life, and physical, cognitive, and mental health functioning. Given these results without alternative treatments providing similar results, one must ask why don’t we treat now!!!

What is HBOT, and How Does it Help to Heal Brain Wounds?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is an oxygen treatment in an enclosed chamber that enhances the body’s natural healing processes by inhalation of 100% oxygen, using increased atmospheric pressure to help heal under controlled conditions. HBOT is proven to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, usually as part on an overall medical care plan.
The patient spends about one hour per session in a hyperbaric chamber, breathing oxygen under pressure which saturates the body’s tissues with 7x more oxygen than tissue can hold at sea level. Oxygen now reaches damaged areas that may have lacked blood supply or be dormant. The first dose restarts the body’s cellular energy supply, causing cells to demand oxygen. Repeated doses cause blood supply and neural pathway recovery, and double brain metabolism. Most patients experience rapid recovery of normal sleep patterns, relief from photophobia and headaches, and restored cognitive and neurological functioning without surgery or drugs. Most service members can reduce their prescribed drug intake to nearly zero after 40 treatments
The Navy wrote the book on hyperbaric oxygen. For over 77 years oxygen has been used to repair decompression sickness (the “bends”) an injury caused by a lack of oxygen. It is proven science that wounds cannot heal without oxygen. Brain wounds are particularly sensitive to lack of oxygen. O2 is used in over 5,769 cellular processes; HBOT activates 8,101 genes, resulting in down-regulation of inflammatory processes, up-regulating growth and repair processes and restarting stunned cellular metabolism. Research around the world shows that HBOT helps grow new blood vessels, new neuronic/brain tissue, activates stem cells 8X normal, heals wounds that have not healed, and repairs neural pathways. In addition, HBOT is delivering the same hyper-oxygenation to all body parts, an adjunct benefit for general body wellness. It is worth noting that the Concussion Protocol does none of these things since it ignores brain wound healing.
HBOT is the only therapy that directly treats the underlying disease processes of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) (swelling of the brain, constriction of blood vessels, decreased blood flow, decreased oxygen, acid buildup, and cell metabolism). HBOT has been shown in multiple studies to have the greatest reduction in mortality of any TBI therapy, largely because it is helping heal the brain. One to three sessions of HBOT in the acute period can decrease the mortality by half. For patients with the persistent post-concussion syndrome (PCS), HBOT is the most effective therapy known.
HBOT is already approved for 13 indications, three of which are for non-healing wounds and three of which are for various types of acute and chronic brain injury: along with the bends these include carbon monoxide poisoning, arterial gas embolism to the brain, and acute blindness from central retinal artery occlusion. No other drug or therapy is already approved by the FDA for treating neurological injury and no other non-hormonal treatment other than HBOT is FDA-approved for repairing and regenerating human tissue. Rebuilding a brain with HBOT is straightforward, safe, effective, and fairly easy. Recovery is typically noticeable within the first 10 treatments, which can be delivered in as short as 5 days, and approximately 50% of young war veterans are to return to duty, work or school after 40 treatments, with the number climbing to 80% at 80 treatments.
USMC Commandant James Conway, in hearing in 2009 commented: “I have seen none out there that I am more encourage by…than hyperbaric treatment…..(we must) speed the process…to rapidly bring this to treatment level….. it can’t hurt, it can only help….we think we’re onto something here.” In the same hearing, CNO ADM Gary Roughead intoned: “If it can help, if it MAY help, I’m in.” Congress continues to fund research into HBOT for TBI/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but doesn’t go to the next step of employing what worldwide research conclusively shows to be a safe and effective, evidence-based treatment for symptoms of TBI/PTSD: suicidal ideation, headaches, anxiety, depression. In Israel, Scotland, Canada, China and across the USA, thousands of brain-injured veterans and civilians have been scientifically shown to achieve positive results with return to a quality of life far beyond what is available under current standards of care.
Does it work to help heal brain injury in combat veterans? Drs. Eddie Zant and Col. James Wright USAF (ret.) Special Operations Command, have treated dozens of concussed (TBI) military patients for lingering concussion symptoms, including a US Army Brig General concussed in Afghanistan by an IED explosion. Before HBOT, all were months — some, years — post concussion and still experiencing severe post concussion symptoms. None of these patients had life threatening head injuries. All had normal CT Scans/MRI’s. Symptoms in these patients included cognitive impairment, loss of memory, headaches, depression, fatigue, anger and irritability, sleep disturbances, loss of multitasking and executive functions, and hyper-vigilance. All patients had successful results from HBOT therapy and either returned to full military duty, continued in school, or returned to full civilian employment. All of those patients were previously treated by different agencies with medication only which gave them little or no relief in their disabling concussion symptoms. To date, over 7,500 patients have been treated with few complications, none lasting, or major adverse reactions.
Does it work to help heal concussions? Dr. Daphne Denham, the nation’s premier expert on HBOT treatment of acute concussion, reports that 98% of her patients in her Fargo ND clinic [348 out of 350] treated within ten days of suffering a concussion, completely resolved their symptoms in five treatments or less [average of 2.4 treatments].
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