Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Concussions are becoming a major health concern in the United States, in recent years. There are more than 10 million cases with TBI and other related conditions such as Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS), being reported in the United States, annually.
Lately, the medical community is increasingly recommending HBOT Therapy in CA as an adjunctive and non-invasive treatment solution to counter these ailments, naturally.
Johnny Torres, a resident of Palo Alto, California, suffered a serious Traumatic Brain Injury due to an accident sustained a few weeks before his 21st birthday.
Torres was in a state of coma for two weeks as a result of diffuse axonal injury to his brain that resulted in bleeding within the corpus callosum, leaving him completely bedridden. The Traumatic Brain Injury impacted the cognitive function of Torres, as well. Basic daily activities such as the ability to eat, speak and walk were badly affected.
Johnny Torres was actively serving with the U.S. Army at the time of his accident. After completing a treatment cycle of 180-days at two top hospitals in CA, his mother, Diana Torres shifted Johnny back to their residence. During the months that followed, Diana and other caregivers provided Johnny with round-the-clock health care.
“He was combative, he would hit me and spit on me. Sometimes he would get me in a headlock and my husband would have to help me out,” recalls Diana.
After a lot of deliberation, Diana decided to opt for HBOT Therapy as an adjunctive treatment solution for her son. She met Dr. Carol Henricks, a neurologist based in Tucson, and enrolled Johnny into a hyperbaric therapy center for further treatment.
Currently, Johnny has undergone more than 400 HBOT sessions and is believed to have recuperated considerably. Diana feels that he is a lot calmer, less combative; has stopped drooling, and his eating patterns have improved immensely post the HBOT treatment. Johnny’s doctors have observed a significant development in his cognition levels. He is able to watch television programs and comprehend everything that is happening around him. With the recovery of his pre-injury strength post the HBOT sessions, Johnny is able to indulge in mock wrestling bouts with his dad.
After observing these positive developments in Johnny, Diana has firmly decided that her son will extend the HBOT Therapy in CA till he makes a complete recovery.
How Can Traumatic Brain Injury or Concussions Impact the Well-Being of an Individual?
Traumatic Brain Injury:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can occur due to blast injuries sustained on a battlefield or in motor accidents and during a collision or falls that ensue whilst playing football and numerous other contact sports. Basically, an external injury that causes trauma to the brain can result in TBI.
Traumatic Brain Injury is known to debilitate the cognitive function in patients, largely affecting their behavioural and communicative abilities. This is believed to occur due to the inflammation in the brain tissues caused by the deprivation of oxygen.
Traumatic Brain Injury is predominantly classified into three pathophysiological states, namely:
- Acute – a phase that occurs within the first 24 hours of impact.
- Subacute – the stage that affects the individual in a few days post the injury.
- Chronic – the phase wherein the symptoms resurface weeks after the trauma that caused TBI.
If there is a delay in prescribing the right treatment, TBI patients are likely to suffer severe health setbacks such as:
- Ischemia secondary to raised intracranial pressure,
- Impaired calcium homeostasis,
- The release of excitotoxic neurotransmitters,
Early diagnosis of TBI with the adaptation of an adequate treatment solution such as HBOT Therapy is known to have provided a ray of hope to several patients in recent years.
Almost 25% of the patients affected by mild TBI, often experience symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS).
The 16 most prominent symptoms of PCS according to the Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ) are:
- Delayed thought process,
- Sleep deprivation,
- Temporary memory loss,
- Blurred Vision,
- Light sensitivity,
- Lack of concentration,
- Noise sensitivity,
- Double vision.
These neuro-psychological anomalies can last anywhere between a few days to months and can greatly impair the basic well-being of the patient. The early implementation of alternative treatment options such as HBOT therapy can curb further deterioration.
Why do Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome Prefer To go for HBOT Therapy in CA?
Currently, physicians are treating patients displaying symptoms of TBI or PCS with HBOT Therapy in CA on a regular basis.
HBOT Therapy is a non-traditional treatment solution that has been used since the last four decades to provide relief for decompression sickness in divers, burns, non-healing chronic wounds, and several other ailments.
An HBOT session starts with the patient entering a pressurized and sealed compartment known as the hyperbaric chamber. The ambient pressure in the chamber is two or more times higher than the normal pressure at sea level. The patient is then administered pure oxygen at 1.2 atm to 5 atm. This augmented pressure enables the oxygen to dissolve into the body fluids, thereby boosting the oxygen-rich blood to reach the damaged or inflamed parts of the brain tissues.
Clinical studies conducted by researchers on humans and rat models have linked HBOT to bring about improvement in cognition in animals and humans, alike.
Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome are consciously adapting to HBOT Therapy in CA, as this treatment is known to have the potential to:
- Increase metabolism,
- Trigger neuro-plasticity,
- Increase cell proliferation,
- Restrain apoptosis,
- Stimulating angiogenesis,
- Build oxidative stress resistance,
- Enhance blood flow to dormant brain tissues,
- Curtail inflammation,
- Promote neurogenesis,
- Enhance tissue oxygenation,
- Reduce intracranial pressure.
In 2011, a pathbreaking clinical study involving U.S. military veterans with blast-induced mild traumatic brain injury and PTSD is believed to have revealed positive results. Many veterans involved in this program claimed to have experienced remarkable relief in their medical condition after undergoing HBOT therapy for a month. After a subsequent six-month HBOT treatment, their doctors observed a marked reduction in their TBI and Post Concussion-related ailments such as PTSD, depression, and headache.
The past decade has witnessed a substantial increase in the use of HBOT therapy in CA as several renowned hyperbaric experts across the United States, strongly advocated the innumerable health benefits of HBOT therapy. Today, there are approximately 500 active hyperbaric centers across the United States and this number is slated to increase significantly in the coming years.
However, along the West Coast, physicians are currently prescribing HBOT Therapy in CA as a novel and alternative treatment for TBI and Concussions related ailments!