Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that primarily affect movement, muscle tone and coordination. This condition may also include seizures, learning disabilities, vision and dental problems, arthritis and other issues. Cerebral Palsy is primarily caused by a traumatic injury to the brain while in utero or shortly after birth. The severity and symptoms of CP vary depending on how much damage and where in the brain the injury occurred.
Traditional treatments for CP mostly involve physical therapies and medications for muscle spasticity/rigidity. Most physicians view this condition as a life-long diagnosis that rarely improves or gets worse. While there is no known cure for Cerebral Palsy, some research suggests that many patients can see improvements with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
There have been numerous studies regarding the use of hyperbarics for CP. One study in particular found that subjects saw improvements in fine motor skills, brain function and neuroplasticity at 3 different dosage levels (1.3 ATA, 1.5 ATA and 2.4 ATA). It can be presumed that mild hyperbaric therapy can be an effective modality in treating CP.
Since Cerebral Palsy is considered a form of traumatic brain injury, you can click here to read more about hyperbarics and TBIs.
A longitudinal study in children with cerebral palsy has been conducted.
The study compared three different dosages of hyperbaric oxygen, combined with intensive rehabilitation with a control group receiving only re-habilitation.
The rate of improvement in GMFM score was signiﬁcantly superior in the three hyperbaric groups compared to the control group,
There was no difference between the three HBO2 therapy groups. The amount of changes are similar to the results obtained in the multiple studies on HBO2 therapy in CP that have been published and are more important than the improvements measured with standard recognized therapies alone in CP. The very important difference observed in treated vs. controlled children can only be a genuine beneﬁcial effect of HBO2 therapy. Based on the results of this and other studies of HBO2 therapy in CP children,
HBO2 combined with rehabilitation should be recommended for children with CP.
See below for study.
Traumatic Brain Injury Neurol Res. 1998 Cerebral oxygenation and the recoverable brain.
Neubauer RA, James P. Ocean Hyperbaric Center, Lauderdale by the Sea, FL 33308, USA.
Oxygenation is the most critical function of blood flow and a sudden reduction in oxygen availability is an inevitable consequence of severe ischemia. The resulting cascade of events may result in the failure of membrane integrity of some cells and necrosis, but in the surrounding zone of tissue, less affected by hypoxia, cells survive to form the ischemic penumbra. The timing of these events is uncertain, but sufficient oxygen is available to these cells to maintain membrane ion pump mechanisms, but not enough for them to generate action potentials and therefore function as neurons. The existence of such areas has been suspected for some time based upon the nature of clinical recovery, but has now been demonstrated by SPECT imaging with a high plasma oxygen concentration under hyperbaric conditions as a tracer. A course of hyperbaric oxygen therapy frequently results in a permanent improvement in both flow and metabolism. These changes apparently represent a reversal of the changes that render neurones dormant and the activity of cells, previously undetectable by standard electrophysiological methods, can now be demonstrated. Three patients are presented in whom recoverable brain tissue has been identified using SPECT imaging and increased cerebral oxygenation under hyperbaric conditions. Improved perfusion from reoxygenation has correlated with clinical evidence of benefit especially with continued therapy. PMID: 9584921
To Read Full Study, Click Here
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