To HBOT or To Not HBOT?


The Hyperbaric Chamber is something that we often hear about athletes and high-profile celebrities using. The chamber has proven benefits by delivering 100% natural oxygen to the body while inside a pressurized chamber.

When 100% natural oxygen is delivered to the body under pressure, a great amount is absorbed by the blood stream and hereby delivering more oxygen to the body organs and tissues. This improves the effect and benefits of many antibiotics, activates white blood cells to fight off infection, and promotes chronic wounds to begin the healing process.

In cases of psychological and behavioral conditions, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), some research and studies have indicated a change in symptoms such as irritability, hyperactivity, speech and repetitive behaviors; all of which are commonly found in Autism cases. Other studies, such as the one discussed in a recent issue of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, show little benefit of HBOT therapy in Autistic patients.

This recent study, conducted by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and led by Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D; Jonathan Tarbox, Dennis R. Dixon, Arthur E. Wilke, Michael S. Allen, and James Jeffrey Bradstreet, found that HBOT therapy had no significant effect on the symptoms of Autism.

There were only 2 factors considered in the randomization of study patients; age and ABA hours of treatment. When children are participating in ABA treatment, it’s to be assumed that a decent amount of them will be exhausted mentally and physically. This exhaustion level can prevent the HBOT therapy from working at full capacity and enabling children to benefit completely from the treatment.

There are some other controversial concerns about this most recent study as well. More than likely there will be another research and study done in which some of the constants are modified. Until the idea of HBOT and its effects on Autism symptoms is further examined, it may be too soon to write this off as an unbeneficial treatment option.