Man in despair with raised hands and bowed headd, in a low light room looking in front of mirror

Brain Injuries can happen by events such as car accidents, skiing accidents, tackles, “headers” in soccer, falls, military blasts and even PTSD. There is no such thing as a typical brain injury.

The brain oversees everything we do:
• How we move our body (physical)
• How we perceive, recall, and process information (cognitive)
• How we communicate with others (communication)
• How we feel (emotional)
• How we behave (behavioral)
• How we interact with others (social)

It’s easy to see how a serious blow to the brain can have a devastating impact on the survivor and those around {him or} her.

As different parts of the brain control different functions, the impairments acquired by a survivor depend on the precise location and gravity of {his or}her injury. Since every injury is unique in the damage it causes, every survivor acquires a unique mix of complaints.

It’s impossible for a doctor to review your patient’s CT scans and MRIs and predict the deficits s/he will acquire. Certain functions, however, such as memory, language, and information processing, are lodged in multiple areas of the brain and are almost always affected by any serious injury.

(http://www.brainline.org/content/2010/02/life-with-a-brain-injury-preparing-yourself-and-your-family_pageall.html)

Hyperbaric oxygen treatments have proven effective for many conditions including decompression sickness (the “bends”), carbon monoxide poisoning, burns and non-healing wounds. In the US, there are 14 indications that the FDA has approved Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – any treatment not expressly approved by the FDA is considered “off label treatment” – treatment is permitted with a doctor’s order.  Worldwide there are over 150 indications that Hyperbaric Oxygen is used to treat.

And new research out of Tel Aviv University suggests that hyperbaric oxygen might also promote neuroplasticity—and dramatic improvements in outcomes—after brain damage.

How does HBOT work?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an FDA approved, medical treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a pressurized chamber.

Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids including plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process.

“The tissue around a chronic wound may be getting very little oxygen because there’s very little blood flow to the center of the wound,” says Col. Brian McCrary, an Air Force physician and expert in hyperbaric medicine. “So by increasing the oxygen to the tissues, you help drive healing. Hyperbaric treatment also helps stimulate new blood vessel growth, which drives new capillaries into an area to help get more blood and oxygen into the affected area. And it’s also been shown to reduce inflammation, too.”

The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas. It is a simple, non-invasive and painless treatment.

It has long been known that healing many areas of the body cannot take place without appropriate oxygen levels in the tissue. Most illnesses and injuries occur, and often linger, at the cellular or tissue level. In many cases, such as: circulatory problems; non-healing wounds; and strokes, adequate oxygen cannot reach the damaged area and the body’s natural healing ability is unable to function properly. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides this extra oxygen naturally and with minimal side effects. (http://www.hbot.com/about-hbot)

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves the quality of life of the patient in many areas when standard medicine is not working.

George Mychaskiw, chair of the department of anesthesiology at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Florida calls HBOT “a supernatural treatment,” “Not that it’s magic. But we don’t normally live at two or three atmospheres of pressure. Except for a few bottom-dwelling organisms in the sea, the behavior of oxygen at these difference pressures is outside the normal realm of biology, certainly outside the normal realm of human biology.”

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