The human brain weighs about just 2% of the total body weight. Yet, it consumes around 20% of the total oxygen. It shows how essential oxygen is for the brain to function. Considering this vital fact, researchers have been studying the effectiveness of HBOT therapy in treating children with various brain disorders, such as TBI or Traumatic Brain Injury, and CP or Cerebral Palsy.
In this article, we will discuss the different brain disorders such as TBI and CP, and how hyperbaric oxygen therapy has proven its effectiveness in treating such cases.
What is HBOT Therapy?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or HBOT is a specialized medical treatment. It involves breathing inside a specialized oxygen chamber known as the hyperbaric chamber. Inside the special chambers, 100% pure oxygen is supplied at a raised atmospheric pressure.
The Philosophy Behind HBOT Therapy
The oxygen available normally for breathing in the atmosphere is the one-fifth portion of the air we breathe. Since oxygen is the vital force of the body to regenerate its cells and heal itself, a more abundant oxygen supply inside the body will hasten the body and its vital organs – especially the brain – to work at their optimum in healing itself.
During an HBOT therapy session, one breathes 100% oxygen since the breathable air inside the hyperbaric chambers consists of only pure oxygen. Therefore, the body receives 5 times more oxygen than normal.
The raised atmospheric pressure inside the chambers further helps the oxygen penetrate deeper into the body cells and reach the remote corners of the nervous system activating the brain’s satellite cells and remote neurons.
The Benefits of HBOT Therapy
There are various benefits of HBOT Therapy. Below, we have mentioned some snippets of the benefits.
- It is a non-invasive treatment therapy – It is painless and does not involve any invasive surgical procedures.
- It is an adjunct therapy – that can be continued with other medications for the treatment.
- It can be combined with other therapies and treatments for maximum results.
- It increases the blood flow into the vital organs, such as the brain, and improves blood circulation.
- It helps in repairing the blood cells and brain neurons. It also helps in building new cells.
- It helps build collagen benefits for skin health.
- It reduces internal swelling and helps heal internal or external wounds.
What is TBI?
TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury, is a cerebral or brain disorder caused due to some extreme events of traumatic nature, such as violent jerks, jolts, or blows in the brain or skull. The injury in these traumatic events can damage the brain tissues and, thus, can leave the brain either partially or completely impaired.
It is a serious public health issue in the US. Children suffering from TBI can have both physiological and psychological effects, including cognitive, communicative, and behavioral difficulties.
The noted difficulties of TBI in patients may range from headache, nausea, and extreme fatigue to loss of interest in toys or playing, change in behavior, irritability, change in sleep patterns, etc.
HBOT Therapy and TBI
Research studies have revealed the positive outcome of HBOT therapy in children with TBI, including the following.
- Reduction in the inflammation of the damaged brain cells
- Increase in the oxygenation of the neurological tissues in the brain
- The rapid acceleration of the healing process, thereby reducing the recovery time.
- Severe, long-lasting, and chronic injury cases have shown substantial and permanent improvement.
- Reduction in the risk for complications, reduced hospital stay, and improved quality of living for such patients.
What is CP?
CP or Cerebral Palsy is a group of conditions or disorders that affects a patient’s capability to maintain proper posture, balance the body, and move properly. It is caused due to abnormal development of the brain. It often occurs before the birth but may also occur in a child after the birth. The brain’s ability to control the motor nerves through motor neurons is affected, and thus muscle coordination is affected, rendering restrictions in the body’s movements.
HBOT Therapy and CP
Since cerebral palsy is a neuromuscular disorder that currently has no cure, it can only be treated to reduce the child’s difficulty and improve the living conditions, health, and well-being of the child. The treatment for CP varies greatly on the severity and the type of cerebral palsy a child may have.
The causes of Cerebral palsy are many. However, CP caused by brain damage because of oxygen deprivation is treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Continual studies conclude not to negate alternative treatments and methods to treat CP.
However, along with the regular medication, adjunct HBOT therapy in California for a child with CP has shown dramatic improvements in the health and general well-being of the child.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for CP patients has resulted in the following:-
- Better management and control of pain.
- Improvements in social interactions and behavior.
- Improved body movements and increased ability to eat, wash, bathe and dress independently.
- Increased cognitive response.
- Improvement in interest in learning and playing.
The advancement in medical sciences reveals that our hope in treating severe brain conditions such as CP and TBI lies in the brain’s response to the supply of oxygen and nutrients. HBOT therapy in California has given a ray of hope to ease the distress and despair of child patients and their parents, family, and loved ones.