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Conditions We Treat:


Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease associated with demyelinating lesions of the central nervous system. The unpredictable fluctuation of symptoms and signs in patients with MS make studying therapies difficult. In Great Britain, a nonprofit organization, The Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Centers, has established over 60 hyperbaric centers and have treated more than 14,000 patients since 1982. About 70% of patients obtained relief of two or more symptoms after a course of 20 hyperbaric oxygen treatments.

The response was generally better in patients with less advanced disease and the initial response was found to be an unreliable guide to the outcome of prolonged treatment. A re-evaluation made between two and four years and between six and eight years after the initial treatment course demonstrated that regular treatment maintained the initial improvements. They found that 300 treatments over 10 or more years are necessary to retard progression while 500 treatments were more beneficial.

Lyme Disease
Lyme disease usually begins with a rash and flu-like illness and may develop into a chronic condition with symptoms similar to chronic fatigue syndrome or even encephalitis and heart problems. It is caused by borelia burgdorphi and transmitted through the bite of the deer tick. The disease is more prevalent in the Northeast and upper Midwest. Prompt treatment with antibiotics is beneficial as is hyperbaric oxygen therapy in more long standing cases.

Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a term encompassing multiple motor impairment syndromes presumably stemming from a brain injury in the perinatal period. In 2001, results from a Brazilian study that had treated 232 patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy were presented. Approximately 42% exhibited decreased spasticity, 18% demonstrated improvement in global motor coordination and there was a 40% improvement in memory with smaller degrees of improvement in other tested factors. A second study, conducted in Bulgaria, confirmed the beneficial findings. The controversy regarding the use of hyperbaric oxygen in this condition may partially be related to the large variety of causes of cerebral palsy which may affect the response to treatment.

Stroke
The World Health Organization defines stroke as “rapidly developing clinical signs of local or global disturbance of cerebral function with symptoms lasting 24 hours or longer or leading to death, with no apparent cause other than of vascular origin.” An ischemic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain is blocked either by a clot (thrombus) or an embolus, i.e. piece of cholesterol or platelets. An ischemic stroke may also occur due to a migraine which causes a spasm of the cerebral arteries without obstruction. Hemorrhagic stroke, or cerebral infarction may be secondary to an intracerebral hemorrhage due to hypertension or a subarachnoid hemorrhage secondary to the rupture of an intracranial aneurysm.

There have been many uncontrolled studies on the use of HBOT in cerebrovascular diseases. Over 1000 cases have been reported with improvement rates from 40% - 100%. However, 3 controlled studies (approximately 100 patients) did not prove benefit although in one study, 27 of the 39 patients either were not treated according to the study protocol, or dropped out of the study thus illustrating the difficulties in conducting studies on patients with acute stroke. A 50 patient study of patients with chronic stroke demonstrated improvement in spasticity, aphasia and cognitive defects.

This author has treated 3 patients with loss of visual field secondary to a cortical stroke of the visual cortex with hyperbaric oxygen. All 3 patients demonstrated an improvement in visual field.

Visual Loss
I have treated 8 patients with significant visual loss (worse than 20/100) from “dry” ARMD. 5 patients gained 2 lines of vision lasting several months after treatment, 1 patient gained 1 line, and there was no change in visual acuity in 2 patients.

Near Drowning, Hanging or Global Ischemia
Animal studies and anecdotal reports from people I trust has shown that prompt hyperbaric oxygen treatment (within 6 hours) can save people from life-long incapacity. I am still amazed that despite the fact that no treatment will result in incapacity and sometimes death, nothing is being done. The first question the physician taking care of Justin said to me when I suggested HBOT was, “How will I get paid?”

West Syndrome

West Syndrome also known as infantile spasms, is a brain disorder with many names and causes. If a cause is found, the syndrome is referred to as symptomatic West Syndrome; when there is no known cause but the child has another neurological disorder, it is referred to as cryptogenic West Syndrome; and if no cause, idiopathic West Syndrome. There are three categories of epileptic seizures: Lightning attacks, Nodding attacks and Jackknife or Salaam attacks. There are many different treatments including: ACTH, Vigabatrin (Sabril), Topiramate (Topamax), lamotrigine (Lamictal), levetiracetam (Keppra), zonisamide (Zonegran) and a ketogenic diet. As brain injury from hypoxia has been implicated as a cause of West Syndrome, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may presumably be beneficial in its treatment.