Clinical studies present convincing evidence that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) might be the coveted neurotherapeutic method for brain repair [1,2]. HBOT is a treatment in which oxygen-enriched air (up to 100%) is administrated to patients in a chamber where the pressure is elevated above one atmosphere absolute (1ATA which is the ambient atmospheric pressure). It is becoming widely acknowledged that the combined action of hyperoxia and hyperbaric pressure leads to significant improvement in tissue oxygenation, targets oxygen and pressure-sensitive genes [3–5], improves mitochondrial metabolism and induces anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects [6–7]. Special focus has been given recently to the effect of HBOT on neuropathology.
The talk will reflect on the multifaceted role of HBOT in neurotherapeutics, in light of recent evidence for HBOT efficacy in conditions such as post-stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and fibromyalgia [1, 8-9].
The second part of the talk will elucidate the rationale and accumulating evidence regarding HBOT’s effect on PTSD. Though PTSD has been described many years ago, no cure is available and about half of the individuals meet the criteria for PTSD even after different combinations of treatments. It is known today that the syndrome is characterized by long term structural and functional brain changes. The severity of the brain changes correlates with the severity of the symptoms and its resistance to the current available treatments. The neuroplasticity induced by HBOT targets those brain changes and thus brings new therapeutic strategy in the arsenal used for the unfortunate who suffer from this chronic debilitating disorder.
The treatment course, the effect of clinical symproms and structural and functional brain changes will be discussed, together with potential challenges and future plans.
Presented by: Dr. Keren Doenyas