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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

9 replies

ntt · 19/03/2006 10:12

Anyone tried this? Does it work?

OP posts:
dizzy34 · 19/03/2006 15:15

For what condition was you thinking? i asked our consultant about it for ds epilepsy and he told me to 'avoid it like the plague'. i know its supposed to work for ms though

ntt · 19/03/2006 15:18

ds (9 months old) has possible cerebral palsy. Did your consultant say why it should be avoided?

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dizzy34 · 19/03/2006 17:22

he said that their had not been suffienct research done into the poss side affects (although he was speaking about epilepsy specifically).I trust him 100% and he has always assured us that if there was a treatment or therapy that he thought was suitable for ds then he would recommend it.
could you check with your consultant perhaps?

bundle · 19/03/2006 17:23

there are hyperbaric centres at places like plymouth & somewhere in scotland (both diving connections) and if you google them, they should give you an idea of what they use it for (with success)

ntt · 19/03/2006 21:00

Thanks - dizzy, I'll ask the next consultant I see. Not sure when that'll be as we're being referred to our local team from our out of area hospital.

Bundle, I've seen a few sites on the internet of some centres offering HOT for kids with CP and other neurological problems, and (of course) they say it can really help (in terms of reactivating "dormant" neurones. Just don't want to get my hopes up and waste time and money.

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earthtomummy · 20/03/2006 07:30

I don't know anything about it in relation to children and CP, but my friend had it regularly at Guys because she has MS and thought it def. helped for that.

ntt · 22/03/2006 16:48

etm, thanks, do you know how often your friend went and how long for? Don't suppose you know if it was private treatment do you?

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dizzy34 · 30/03/2006 22:21


Just found this info and thought it might be of interest to you
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical technique that involves the administration of 100 percent oxygen, at a controlled pressure, to patients over a 60 to 90 minute period. While the interest in HBOT has increased substantially, it is not a new technique. It has been used for many years to heal wounds and burns, treat underwater diving injuries, correct circulatory problems, and to treat those with carbon monoxide poisoning. Recently, however, HBOT has been used throughout the world to treat children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Cerebral palsy is the result of damage to areas of the brain. However, patients with CP not only have damage to specific areas of their brain, but the surrounding areas of the damage may also be affected. These other areas may not be functioning properly because they are not receiving sufficient amounts of oxygen due to a decrease in blood flow (which may be caused by brain swelling). As a result, some researchers believe that this will prevent the ability to produce myelin, which is what protects the nerve fibers in the brain. These nerve fibers are involved in impulse transmissions and when they are left unprotected, they slowly deteriorate, causing a lack of communication between nerve cells. This can then result in spasticity, a common symptom found in children with CP.

The cells in the areas surrounding the damages can lie "dormant" for many years with just a small amount of oxygen. It is believed that if these areas are given large amounts of oxygen, they will likely become functional, which would result in an improvement in spasticity and other CP-related symptoms. In addition, HBOT may reduce swelling in the brain by constricting blood vessels and provide an environment that can promote the growth of new brain tissue.

A recent study, by Canadian researchers at McGill University, has shown that HBOT has positive effects on children with CP. Dr. Pierre Marois and his team of researchers studied 25 children with CP, ages 4 to 7 years. They were all given 20 HBOT treatments and 23 out of the 25 showed improvements in spasticity and in communication skills. While these results are very promising, they are still under critique. Therefore, further studies are currently underway to validate the use of HBOT as an effective treatment approach for children with CP.

It is important to know that HBOT does not have the same results on every child. The degree of improvement largely depends on the amount and type of brain damage that each child has. A SPECT scan can be used to not only identify the actual brain damage, but the surrounding areas that are not functioning properly as well. In addition, the SPECT scan can be a useful tool in determining whether HBOT is working because it is able to actually monitor the change in blood flow to the brain tissue.

The treatments are administered at a pressure equivalent to 16.5 to 25 feet below sea level. In the first phase, the child will typically receive a 1 hour treatment every day for a total of 40 treatments. Thereafter, the treatment plan is based on each individual case. Many believe that if improvement was seen in the first 40 treatments, a one to four week break should be taken, and another 40 treatments should be given.

As with any medical procedure, there are side effects associated with HBOT. Minor ear discomfort is the most common complaint of children. Since HBOT is much like being in an aircraft while it descends, the child will need to alleviate the pressure in his or her ears, most often by swallowing. If the child is unable to equalize the pressure, damage can occur to the eardrum. Other complications can occur if the child has lung abnormalities. As a result of these potential side effects, it is recommended that you consult with your child’s primary physician before having your child treated with HBOT.

HBOT may one day be a common treatment technique for children with CP. However, it is important to understand that HBOT is not a miracle cure. It should be used in conjunction with more traditional approaches, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and available medications used to reduce spasticity.

To learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy, please see the following:

Chico Hyperbaric Center
Hot 4R CP Kids Foundation
Perlmutter Hyperbaric Center
Montgomery D, Goldberg J, Amar M, Lacroix V, Lecomte J, Lambert J, Vanasse M, Marois P. "Effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy: a pilot project."Undersea Hyperb Med 1999 Winter; 26(4):235-42
Ocean Hyperbaric Center

sorry should have just given you the link, here goes

hope this helps


ntt · 01/04/2006 21:27

Thanks so much for that dizzy! Only just seen it. I'm going to see if there's somewhere we can go near me.

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