Use Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy In Neurodevelopment Disorders Like Autism :
Multiple studies have revealed that autism is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by cerebral hypoperfusion, neuro and GI inflammation, and increased oxidative stress. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) causes increased oxygen perfusion, has potent anti-inflammatory effects, reduces oxidative stress and increases the production of stem cells.
Hypoperfusion refers to decreased blood flow. In the case of autism, numerous studies have shown decreased blood flow to the brain, especially to the temporal regions of the brain. This hypoperfusion correlates with many core autism symptoms.
A case report is mentioned wherein Heuser treated a four-year old autistic child using lower pressure HBOT at 1.3 ATA (and 24% oxygen) and reported “striking improvement in behavior including memory and cognitive functions after only ten sessions.” Furthermore, the child had improvement of cerebral hypoperfusion as measured by pre-HBOT and post-HBOT SPECT scans. Dr. Rossignol also speaks about the results of his study entitled Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may improve symptoms in autistic children in Medical Hypotheses. The interesting finding from this case series was that the younger children had more significant improvements in clinical outcome scores than the older children who also had hyperbaric treatment in hyperbaric chambers.
What happens during a hyperbaric therapy –
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses a special chamber, sometimes called a pressure chamber or hyperbaric chamber, to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood. Some, but not very many, hospitals have a hyperbaric chamber that is used for hyperbaric treatment. Smaller units may be available in outpatient center.
The air pressure inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber during a typical hyperbaric therapy session, is about two and a half times greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere. This helps your blood carry more oxygen to organs and tissues in your body. Hyperbaric therapy can help wounds, especially infected wounds, heal more quickly.