Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a catchall term for brain injuries, that occur in utero, at the time of delivery, or in the post partum period.


Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a catchall term for brain injuries, that occur in utero, at the time of delivery, or in the post partum period. The damage to the brain by trauma or by cutting cerebral circulation produces an AIE (anoxic ischemic encephalopathy). It may be months before spasticity develops and the characteristics of lack of physical coordination, involuntary movement, and often mental retardation. One of the primary causes of CP is poor oxygenation of the developing brain, which HB4T excels in treating. The greatest improvements have been in young children, as their brains are still in development. Many clinics are seeing their patients have dramatic improvements in all areas of their disabilities.

Loss of function in the brain is due to irreversible tissue destruction and to reversible tissue swelling. People use only up to 20% of their brain capacity throughout their lives. Dormant cells around the destroyed areas can be revived and taught to take over the function of the dead cells. Scientific studies are in the beginning stages for

HannaCerebral Palsy Treatment Using HBOT. Theoretically, the use of HBOT in CID and traumatic brain injury will actually give the brain a jump-start. Scans indicate the effective blood supply is restored to previously oxygen-restricted brain tissue, as capillary healing occurs, the fluid ‘leakage is reduced and swelling recedes. The metabolism of the brain is directly related to oxygen availability. By giving oxygen under hyperbaric conditions, areas of cells that are not dead, but “sleeping” can be awaken.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not a miracle cure, it is simply a way of ensuring the most complete recovery possible. It takes the “stress” off all the cells in the body by providing oxygen, a necessary component of every chemical process, and allows the body to go through healing. About 20-30% of the body’s consumption of oxygen occurs within the brain and spinal cord. These areas are extremely sensitive to oxygen, So, it can result in dramatic effects with a deficiency state or benefits gained through Hyperbaric Therapy (Jain 1995).

HBOT should be used with exercise programs, because lack of use in muscles and joints leads to changes that can only be reversed by exercise. The newly awaken cells in the brain need to be retrained to walk, talk, and do meaningful movements. No one currently knows how much repair children are capable of when conditions are optimized in the brain. HBOT has no guarantees and although their will always be some it cannot help, it does offer hope to many.

Information written by William S. Maxfield, MD, FACNM

Further Reading

HBOT and Cerebral Palsy
Hyperbaric Medicine: The Past Present Future