BMC Pediatrics – Studies of hyperbaric treatment in children with autism

Several uncontrolled studies of hyperbaric treatment in children with autism have reported clinical improvements; however, this treatment has not been evaluated to date with a controlled study. BMC Pediatrics performed a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial to assess the efficacy of hyperbaric treatment in children with autism.

Methods Applied

62 children with autism recruited from 6 centers, ages 2-7 years (mean 4.92+/-1.21), were randomly assigned to 40 hourly treatments of either hyperbaric treatment at 1.3 atmosphere (atm) and 24% oxygen (treatment group, n=33) or slightly pressurized room air at 1.03 atm and 21% oxygen (control group, n=29). Outcome measures included Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale, Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), and Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC).

Conclusions

Children with autism who received hyperbaric treatment at 1.3 atm and 24% oxygen for 40 hourly sessions had significant improvements in overall functioning, receptive language, social interaction, eye contact, and sensory/cognitive awareness compared to children who received slightly pressurized room air. Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov NCT00335790.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

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