Role of Hyperbaric Chamber In Helping Autistic Children
To up the treatment standards for Autism Spectrum Disorder, especially for children, a recent study at Tel Aviv University has witnessed a significant breakthrough.
Although the study was focused on animal models, it also holds a cure for human subjects due to its satisfactory outcomes, like positive neurological changes and decreased inflammation.
This post takes a dig at the findings and conclusions of the research and how it can help widen the scope of treatment using a hyperbaric chamber.
The study in Tel Aviv depicted how the use of a hyperbaric chamber was essential in enhancing special skills for the autistic kind. Not only lowering inflammation but also social functioning showed a positive curve, something that can benefit human subjects.
For those who aren’t aware, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a one-of-a-kind treatment that harnesses the power of pure, unadulterated oxygen to help treat a multitude of conditions. When a person breathes within a hyperbaric chamber, the oxygen is picked up rapidly via the bloodstream, leading to a wholesome effect seldom achieved by other forms of treatment.
Inbar Fischer, a Ph.D. student at Tel Aviv University’s Sagol School of Neuroscience and School of Psychological Sciences, is the one heading the team behind the research. Reportedly, the immediate findings of the study were printed for the first time in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Fischer mentions in the publication how an adjunct therapy that uses a hyperbaric chamber has been enjoying a pretty underrated position over the years. The treatment has been functional in treating several disorders across human subjects as it boosts oxygen supply across the bloodstream. However, its efficacy in altering autistic symptoms still requires sufficient evidence. This research study will shed some light in that direction.
On the other hand, Dr. Barak thinks that the medical reasons behind autism spectrum disorder can never be definitive. Genetic factors drive more than twenty percent of cases globally; however, they aren’t necessarily always inherited from parents.
Despite various sources contributing to the development of Autism Spectrum Disorder, the behavioral issues are still clubbed under one broad heading, “Autism,” which does not justify several of its symptoms.
In its preliminary phase, the study involved a girl who carried the mutation responsible for Autism. She was subjected to hyperbaric oxygen therapy for a considerable time, which helped improve her brain functioning and social abilities. This led to the following research stage, where the experts sought live, adult animal models that carried similar genetic mutations leading to Autism. The experiment in discussion followed a protocol of no less than forty hyperbaric sessions (one hour each) over several weeks and led to the following discoveries:
Reduces inflammation across the brain.
Expression of substances increases leading to enhanced blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain.
A marked decrease in microglial cell count as well as immune system cells that typically would indicate inflammation associated with Autism.
Beyond such neurological findings, the researchers developed a keen interest in how such improvements across the brain affected social and behavioral patterns — something known to be impaired in autism-affected individuals.
The findings from the research depicted a positive outlook as it significantly improved the social behavior of animal models studied for Autism.
On the other hand, the control group was exposed to normal air pressure without any enriched oxygen flow. The animal models that underwent the treatment depicted elevated social interest levels and preferred spending more time with other animals in the control group.
Considering that the mutation across animal models is pretty identical to humans, the research findings hold a key for a befitting treatment option for Autism. So, there is solid evidence to suggest that using a hyperbaric chamber can offer a range of positive clinical implications. This, in turn, is sure to bring about a significant pathological change for Autism affected children- not just the cases arising out of this particular genetic mutation but also other sources.
Also, given the hyperbaric treatment’s non-intrusive nature, it is a safe choice. Therefore, the findings of the Tel Aviv University study are downright encouraging and successfully demonstrate how a hyperbaric chamber improves a range of neurological aspects as well behavioral patterns in humans. It comes as an addition to scientific explanations of how such occurrences happen within our brains.
Undeniably, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been helping medications around the world treat multiple conditions. Regrettably, it is yet to be fully discovered and recognized, barring a handful of uses where traditional medicines cannot deliver the desired effect.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, where symptoms are varied and differ from one person to another, could be the perfect disorder where a hyperbaric chamber can be used. However, in this case, the only drawback could be its availability, making it an expensive affair for many as medical insurance might not cover it.
Are you a parent to an autistic child? Would you consider hyperbaric oxygen therapy under consent from your healthcare provider?
Drop us your thoughts in the comments section below and let us know.