Interesting article about Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments

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Dr. Harch, a hero in the making for brain injury  patients Special

By KJ Mullins.
When it comes to brain injuries doctors offer little hope to  patients. There is one treatment however that works improving the lives of those  who deal with daily struggles.
Sadly when it comes to obtaining this treatment governments do  not currently cover the costs.
New research on Hyperbaric Oxygen  Therapy Treatment(HBOT) for TBI will be presented next week at the 8th World  Congress on Brain Injury in Washington DC.
After the initial positive findings of  two Airmen who were treated with HBOT after being disabled during a roadside  burning were complete Dr. Harch returned to continue his study.
Fifteen symptomatic U.S. military  veterans who had been diagnosed by either military or civilian  neuropsychologists and neurologists for TBI from blast-induced PCS(2) or  PCS/PTSD(13) took part in the second study.
Subjects completed cognitive testing,  brain imaging (identical to the imaging in the online case above in Cases  Journal) ,  symptom and quality of life questionnaires, and affective measures  pre and immediately post a course of forty HBOT sessions. The sessions took  place twice a day, five days a week for four weeks.
After the thirty day course of HBOT  treatment the subjects all showed significant symptomatic, cognitive, and  affective improvements.
Dr.  Paul G. Harch, author of The Oxygen Revolution: Changing Medicine &  Saving Lives, has been working with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) at the  University of Louisiana as an Associate Professor, Department of Internal  Medicine, Program Director, Hyperbaric Medicine Department.
“I turned over the fellowship  directorship in 3/09 to one of my junior faculty. I had been the director for 18  years”
He believes that HBOT treatments could  be used to help millions of Americans who suffer from brain injury or disease.
Dr. Harch went to John Hopkins  University School of Medicine. He has recently secured a $1.2 million  congressional appropriation to perform a randomized controlled study of HBOT in  TBI and PTSD. He has been working for over 20 years in the field with success  stories abounding. Dr. Harch is the first President of the International  Hyperbaric Medical Association (established in 2001) and President of the  International Hyperbaric Medical Association Foundation.
Dr. Harch discussed his treatments and  the politics that hinder its use with Digital Journal. Without enough published  material the government of the United States and Canada are not backing the use  of HBOT for patients with brain injuries.
“The amount of change in these patients  is unheard of. There is dramatic improvements and yet because of the political  red-tape it is not being offered to those that need it the most.”
His first published case of treating a  soldier was in 2008.  Brig. Gen. Patt Maney  was treated in Washington using the  protocol Harch developed.  He is now back on the bench as a state judge in  Florida.  Subsequently, Dr. Zant, on referral from Dr. Wright treated the two  airmen.
“I have a series of other veterans that  I treated after the machinegunner based on an open pledge to treat them for free  so that I could demonstrate to the military that we had a treatment for their  most pressing problem.  After the original 5 subjects I quickly put further  treatment under the Louisiana State University School of Medicine’s  Institutional Review Board.  This is the current pilot trial.  We are now  treating the 25th subject.  We are approved for 30.  I am reporting the first 15  at the meeting.”
Dr. Harch said that for about 1 out of  5 patients there is a short term transient emotional phase that goes away with  continued treatments.
“We (my team) are encouraged when we  see these emotional breakthroughs, mostly overly sensitive reactions. It means  that the brain is beginning to heal, that progress is happening. There’s an  adage that a patient has to get ‘worse before they get better.’ In our treatment  this is sometimes true.”
This is very uncommon, most people in  hyperbaric medicine they will tell you they have never seen it. The veterans are  an exception in that one third will show transient deterioration.  It is a  strong sign that this is not a placebo effect. Unfortunately those opposed to  this treatment have in the past used this against the treatment.
Most of the over 600 patients that  Harch has worked with have had a smooth progression with the treatments.
As for the 15 soldiers in the study,  all have recently undergone a 6 month follow-up with flying colours.
“The results have all been heads up!”
Dr. Harch discussed one of his most  dramatic cases. A 15-year-old girl who was born with a heart defect. During  surgery as an infant air entered her heart chamber. That caused the child  extreme emotional, gait, seizure and facial ticcing problems.
As a young teen she had no friends, her  gait was teased, her facial tics and other conditions caused her emotional  torment. Then she was treated by Dr. Harch. After the first treatment there was  visible improvements.
During the course of treatment she did  experience a period of being out of control emotionally. What should the doctors  do? Harch knew if the treatment was discontinued this emotional behaviour would  continue. They pushed on.
Today she walks with no gait and has  zero facial ticcing.
“She’s now married and happy. The  treatment hit a home run ball with for this patient and for so many more.”
In clinical trials using children with  cerebral palsy doctors discovered that five areas of the brain showed activity.  Those areas were in the rage, aggression and memory sectors.
“This was as yet unpublished data from  the first 9 CP children I treated with HBOT in the early 1990s.  The brain  imaging analysis was done by a nationally renown expert in SPECT brain imaging.   The five centers with significant improvement in blood flow were areas that  correlated with memory, aggression, rage, vision, and sensation.  The  improvements in these areas correlated with mothers’ reports of improved  cognition and reduction in irritability/temper.”
“The doctors that work with these  children on a daily basis told me that the children were having improvements  that had never seen before.”
What the soldiers are dealing with  after TBI is different than much of the rest of the population. They are  fighting aggressive behaviours often as a result of their brain injuries that  come from roadside blasts. The treatment with these soldiers is having a calming  effect on their emotions.
HBOT has been used for years. In brain  injury it has been researched in  a private clinic and hospital  for over 20  years with success. Yet, with all the positive data and success it is still not  viewed by the government as a proven therapy.
Harch is going to Washington D.C. next  week to fight for the troops and the rest of the population who face the  devastating life changes that a brain injury causes. There is a treatment. It  works. It’s time that it is being used to help the lives of millions.
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2 comments to Interesting article about Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments

  • HenryGR

    Nice and interesting article. Thumbs up for the continuing investigation of brain injuries and treatments.

  • I am currently looking for a portable oxygen concentrator for my mom.She uses the filled tank kind right now.Does anyone know what type of portable concentrator she could use.When I say portable I mean like the AirSep,Invacare,Alliance,and DeVilbiss.
    Thanks in advance

    I have been looking into oxygen concentrators. I am debating buying a refurbished one from I am not sure if I should buy new and get the longer warranty or buy the refurbished one with a 6 month warranty. and get a much better price. Any advice would be appreciated

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