Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a growing health concern in the nation today. Researchers are constantly conducting clinical studies to discover favorable solutions that instill a sense of well being in autistic patients and aid them in coping with their health in a better manner.
The Undersea Oxygen Clinic, a unique medical facility in Tampa, Florida is using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This clinic is open 24/7 and is dedicated to autism research apart from treating patients with other disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke.
This hyperbaric therapy clinic in Tampa is the brainchild of Dr. Joseph Dituri, a special ops diver with a service record spanning over 28 years in the United States Navy. Armed with a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, Dr. Dituri has been a regular part of numerous high-level research projects involving other eminent specialists from the medical field.
“We hope that with the research that we’re doing here, along with USF that we can bring more approved indication to hyperbaric medications as the years go by,” says Maria Caruso, a team member at the clinic.
Clinical trials conducted by researchers to evaluate the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) as a treatment solution for autism are known to have revealed positive results at the clinic.
Listed herewith are a few aspects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy that provide a better understanding of caregivers whilst treating patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects the basic cognitive functions in an individual during their early formative years. While the exact causes of ASD are yet to be uncovered, researchers suspect that this condition is caused due to prenatal or perinatal complications, environmental or genetic factors, nutritional deficiencies, mercury poisoning, abnormal reactions to vaccinations and many more reasons.
There are an estimated 1.5 million individuals with autism-related complications in the United States today with a projected increase of 11 – 16% in ASD cases annually.
What Are The Early Symptoms Of Autism?
The most common symptoms of autism are repetitive behavior, incoherent speech, lack of focus, impaired memory, and affected motor skills. These cognitive disabilities often lead to decreased communication and restricted social interaction.
Research studies have indicated that cognitive impairment in autistic patients is directly linked to oxygen deprivation in certain parts of the brain that are vital for conducting basic activities. This condition is known as hypoxia.
Over the last decade, doctors have been recommending the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an effective medium to treat patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
How Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Being Used As A Treatment For Autism At Undersea Oxygen Clinic?
Hyperbaric therapy is being used to treat ASD on a regular basis as it counters the health issue at a cellular level. Dr. Dituri is a firm believer in HBOT and is convinced that this adjunctive therapy can be used to successfully treat a wide range of ailments. The clinic has set new standards in autism research and their trained team is adept at providing hyperbaric therapy for various afflictions.
On commencing hyperbaric therapy at the clinic, the patient is placed in a pressurized compartment known as a hyperbaric chamber. Thereon, 100% pure oxygen is administered to the patient at pressure levels that are 1.2 to 5 times greater than normal atmospheric pressure at sea level. This pure oxygen dissolves into the body fluids under the high atmospheric pressure and reaches the damaged parts of the body that are experiencing oxygen deprivation.
The process of delivering pure unadulterated oxygen to the affected tissues through HBOT is known to curb hypoxia to a great extent. Regular sessions of hyperbaric therapy are known to reduce the swelling of the brain tissues and encourage cell regeneration, thereby helping the autistic patients.
Currently, the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the treatment of 14 medical conditions through hyperbaric oxygen therapy. However, medical experts are striving hard to get the government agency’s approval for treating Autism Spectrum Disorder and other associated ailments using HBOT.
The path to a healthy, autism-free world is a dream that may appear tough to envision in the current scenario but visionaries like Dr. Dituri are being seen as optimistic game-changers in the field of hyperbaric science with their unrelenting research efforts.
Dr. Dituri’s HBOT clinic in Tampa is definitely setting the pace for building a healthy world with their focused research on autism-related conditions.