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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 1.3 atm at room temperature is just as effective as 100% oxygen at 2.4 Atm as evidenced by research

MAY 18, 2020

Breathing regular air under hyperbaric oxygen conditions of 1.3 Atm leads to more than 50% elevation in tissue oxygenation. There are many case reports illustrating significant effects due to small increases in air pressure, including effects on the brain (2,3,4,5). Moreover, even a slight increase in partial pressure, such as to 1.05 Atm at altitude 402 m below sea level (the Dead Sea) can lead to noticeable physiological effects (6-10). Since 50% elevation in tissue oxygen can have significant physiological effects, treatment with room air at 1.3Atm is not an “ineffectual treatment”..(1)

A recent randomized, controlled trial on mTBI patients by Wolf et al (11), used room air at 1.3 Atm as sham control for treatment with 100% oxygen at 2.4 Atm. Both groups revealed significant improvements in cognitive symptoms and in the measure of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). WE find these results very important: they actually demonstrate that the significantly less expensive and logistically simpler treatment of mTBI patients with mild HBNO2 (mild hyperbaric pressure of 1.3Atm and regular air) can lead to meaningful improvements. Interpretation is based on previous studies demonstrating that mild HBNO2 conditons can be effectual treatments (1). 

For the first time, convincing results based on a crossover study, demonstrating that HBOT can induce neuroplasticity and significant brain function improvements in mild TBI patients with prolonged Post-Concussion-Syndrome at late chronic stage, years after injury. HBOT can be effective in treating other brain impairments, like easing PTSD symptoms or reparing radiation damage. It is also reasonable to expect that HBOT can help slow down or even reverse metabolic disorders associated with neurodegenerative diseases (1). 

Breathing 100% oxygen at 2.4 ATA generate very high oxygen levels in tissues, which can cause an inhibitory effect or even focal toxicity, it is conceivable that HBOT using 2.4 ATA can be less effective than 1.3 ATA or other lower levels of pressure (5). 

(1) Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Can Improve Post Concussion Syndrome Years after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury – Randomized Prospective Trial. Rahav Boussi-Gross. November 2013, Volume 9, Issue 11

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(11)  Wolf G, Cifu D, Baugh L, Carne W, Profenna L (2012) The effect of hyperbaric oxygen on symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury. Journal of neurotrauma 29: 2606–2612. [PubMed][Google Scholar]

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