One Step in a Journey towards Wellness: Hyperbaric Oxygen and Traumatic Brain Injury
Once we thought that the brain was safe and protected in the skull, with little lasting damage from impact. However, over the last 50 years we have learned that the brain, rather than being sheltered from impact is really quite vulnerable. Impact from injuries, physical violence and accidental blows all take a long term toll on the brain, affecting everything ranging from neurology, to inflammation, to cognition.
Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) frequently suffer significant cognitive, behavioral, and communicative disabilities (1). In clinical practice, there is little that can currently be done to correct or mitigate the damage. Pharmaceutical interventions can prove complicated and counseling cannot address the progressive physical damage to the brain and central nervous system (CNS).
Studies on HBOT have been promising. Ranging from animal studies to human trials, meta-analyses of the evidence indicates that HBOT therapies can improve prognoses on multiple fronts. Neuroprotective mechanisms work in parallel (2). These include:
- Increasing Tissue Oxygenation (3,4)
- Reducing inflammation (5)
- Decreasing Apoptosis/Programmed Cell Death (6)
- Promoting neurogenesis and angiogenesis/the development of new nerves and blood vessels (7,8)
HBOT offers hope that something can be done to mitigate the damage of TBI and promote recovery (9). Please, call our clinic to discuss the use of HBOT as one strategy in your journey towards wellness.