Postconcussion syndrome is diagnosed when symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) persist for more than three months. One proposed therapy for mTBI is hyperbaric oxygen—oxygen under higher than normal pressure—based on an unproven hypothesis that some neurons “may return to normal function or near normal function by reactivating metabolic or electrical pathways,” writes David Cifu, M.D., of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Virginia Commonwealth University and colleagues in the Journal of Neurotrauma online November 14.
The researchers conducted a single-center, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled, prospective trial of 50 service members at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. They compared 30 sessions each of slightly pressurized room air with 100 percent oxygen at 2.4 times normal atmospheric pressure. Both groups improved equally, leading Cifu and colleagues to conclude that hyperbaric oxygen treatment “had no effect on postconcussive symptoms after mild TBI.”
To read more in Psychiatric News about hyperbaric therapy for mTBI, click here.
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