It seems an easy enough question to answer: How valuable is your brain? Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a major health problem. This includes damage from strokes, concussions, or any other injury to the head and brain.
The research is showing that even mild concussions can have serious and life-long effects. Strokes have even more serious consequences. Much of the news lately has been about concussions. As USA Today, Sports Illustrated, and other publications have described, concussions can have a serious effect on one’s brain function and behavior. Advances have been made in diagnosing and recognizing the seriousness of concussions, which is a huge step forward in the athletic world and good news for everyone. However, none of the articles have covered the other side of the coin: treatment. The good news is that there are treatment options currently available that have the potential to improve or even reverse the damage done by concussions and strokes.
In 1982 Sukoff and Ragatz demonstrated that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, or HBOT, could reverse the effects of brain damage. This same finding was duplicated in a study by Rockswold and his associates in 2001. According to Dr. Rockswold, “There’s a direct correlation between clinical outcome and the degree to which the brain’s metabolism is restored. In previous research we learned that the brain’s energy production is improved and maintained with hyperbaric oxygen treatment, but this study confirms that hyperbaric oxygen treatment has a major impact in terms of increased energy production.”
At the Eighth World Congress of the International Brain Injury Association, Dr. Paul Harch presented similar findings. Military veterans with brain injuries were given HBOT only, and the results were impressive. On average there was a 15 point increase in IQ within about one month of starting treatment. In addition, there was a 51% decrease in depression, and a 400% improvement in post-concussion symptoms such as headache and sleep disturbances.
Another researcher, Dr. David Amen, has recently disclosed the results of his work done with retired NFL players. More than 100 men were given studies to measure the blood flow and electrical activity of the brain. They were also given a group of tests to measure how well the brain was functioning. The conclusion: football causes long-term brain damage. Based on the total body of research, this same conclusion can be applied to concussions or brain damage caused by any type of trauma, and these findings have been found in people playing any contact sport.
But here as well, the good news is that these effects can be greatly improved or reversed, again duplicating the work presented by other researchers. Dr. Amen used a combination of nutritional and herbal supplements, HBOT, and mental exercises to help these men improve their brain function by up to 400%.
In other studies, HBOT has been shown to decrease cerebral edema, normalize water content in the brain, decrease the severity of brain infarction, and maintain blood-brain barrier integrity. In addition, HBOT improves motor deficits, decreases the risks of long term consequences, and prevents recurrent cerebral circulatory disorders. These beneficial effects lead to improved outcomes and survival.
At Cincinnati Hyperbarics, we have seen similar outcomes. Since the year 2000 we’ve had exceptional results using a combination of nutritional agents, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, and other select therapies in the treatment of stroke and concussions. I strongly suggest that anyone having any type of injury of this nature be treated as soon as possible in order to obtain the best results and improve over all health and function.