Autistic Disorder (Autism), is going in popularity all over North America. This disorder is currently affecting 1 out of 150 people in the US alone, and has no known cure. Common side effects include neurological dysfunction and social interactive disabilities. Cerebral Hypoperfusion, inflammation (cerebral and gastrointestinal), mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and high intestinal counts of Clostridia (bacteria) are all involved in the pathophysiology of this disorder.
Recently, HBOT has been used to treat autism in hopes of increasing the child's ability to verbally and neurologically communicate more effectively. Rationale for using HBOT in treatment for autism included decreasing inflammation (C-reative protein) in the gut and brain tissue, improving cerebral hypoperfusion (lack of perfused oxygen into the brain), improving immune system dysregulation.
The first randomized, doubl-blind, controlled trial study was completed in 2009 and has shown incredibly promising results for HBOT therapy and autism. In this particular study, mild-hyperbarics (1.3atm) were used and a placebo group was also used to determine the effectiveness of oxygen and pressure in autistic children (mean age: 5). The hyperbaric group was at an oxygen concentration of 24% and 1.3atm for 4 hrs/day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks (40 sessions). Conclusion, was that 80% of the children showed improvement on the CGI scale (rated by blinded physicians). Sociability and sensory were the largest areas of improvement. For cerebral hypoperfusion, pre and post SPECT scans showed that decreased brain inflammation gut inflammation. This study also suggested that children with a higher severity of autism responded more positively to hyperbaric treatment. Long term outcomes were not studied here, but may suggest a maintenance program to maintain improvements.
Other improvements worth noting are: 26.7% Increase in Social Withdrawl, 25.5% increase in motivation, 21.4% increase in health, physical , behavior, 21.2% increase in mannerisms, and 10.3% increase in speech, language, and communication
- Rossignol D.A, et al. (2009). Hyperbaric treatment for children with autism: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics. 9:21This information is provided by MC Rehabilitation and Wellness and does not constitute a medical recommendation. It is intended for informational purposes only. Always consult a doctor before beginning any therapies, including HBOT