Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been utilized to treat autism in children in many countries throughout the globe. The rationale behind using hyperbaric for Autism treatment is that the HBOT autism therapy increase cerebral blood flow and thus oxygen is delivered to areas of the brain, which are thought to be oxygen deficient.
Greater amounts of blood and oxygen begin to stimulate cerebral tissues in children with autism and aid in recovery of idling neurons. HBOT for autism also reduces excess fluids and swelling of brain tissues which aid in neurological function and a less confused state in Autistics.
Hyperbaric is also used as a complementary therapy for the treatment of heavy metal detox for such materials as mercury. Hyperbaric assists in the metabolism of heavy metal removal. It can help a patient counteract the effects of heavy metal poisoning and helps body deal with toxins even as noxious as cyanide. It is often used in conjunction with chelation and other detox procedures to help support the body to deal with the impact commonly seen in the removal of heavy metals, mercury, toxins, and other contaminants.
Worldwide, medical researchers are discovering promising results with the effects of hyperbaric therapy on children with Autism.
In one study, involving brain functionality and recovery for autism in children with chemical exposures exhibiting PDD disorders, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was found to be remarkably effective. Treatments consisted of 10 sessions in a hyperbaric chamber at 1.3 ATA, for one hour per day, five consecutive days for two weeks. To increase validity to the study results, SPECT scans of each patient’s brain were taken before and after the hyperbaric treatments to quantify physical changes to the brain tissue.
The SPECT scan showed an increase to blood flow and oxygen to the temporal lobe. SPECT scans of patients taken before hyperbaric treatments showed a significant amount of dormant activity while scans taken of patient brains after hyperbaric indicated an increase in brain activity and blood flow. After hyperbaric therapy, given for autism treatment, dormant brain regions were replaced with greater functioning tissues and represented a scan more similar to a healthy individual.
How can hyperbaric (HBOT) help with Autism Treatment?
Scientists have varying opinions on why the therapy is as successful as a treatment for the condition. Some theories suggest that the brain in some children with Autism, as well as Cerebral Palsy and other neurological disorders, is lacking oxygen and in a dormant, or sleeping state due to lack of blood flow. Hyperbaric forces oxygen into tissues throughout the body including brain tissues and fluid, resulting in a re-awakening of dormant areas of the brain.
Other theories state that excessive swelling in the brain results in a lack of oxygen causing cerebral impairment that can cause behavioral problems, confusion, etc. Oxygen is forced into these damaged areas, through the pressurization of hyperbaric, which alleviates brain swelling by constricting blood vessels. In addition, hyperbaric is thought to provide an optimal environment to assist in the regeneration of brain tissue.