What is Autism?
Autism is a neurological condition which appears in the early developmental stages of childhood. In accordance with the autistic spectrum, there are varying degrees of how severe this condition can be. This condition impairs the ability to interact in a social environment as well as communicate both verbally and nonverbally. In some cases, a child will use an abstract means to communicate or his or her behavior will be limited to repetitive, and sometimes volatile, behavior. While there is no discernible cause for this disorder at present nor is there an immediate cure; there are ways to manage, and treat the symptoms of autism in order to better the lives of those affected by it.
What is Hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
The human brain is dependent on your oxygen intake to perform, however, when there is a shortage of blood to the brain, the brain will receive less oxygen. This makes it difficult to perform daily tasks as well as impairs various cognitive functions. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves being in a pressurized chamber and inhaling 100% pure oxygen for a certain amount of time. This is approximately 5x more than the normal atmospheric concentration of oxygen. By inhaling pure oxygen, you are increasing the oxygen intake in your bloodstream and therefore increasing your brain’s intake of oxygen as well; enabling you to focus.
As it is an outpatient procedure, you will not be hospitalized and can continue with your daily activities.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and autism
As autism is a neurological disorder, it affects the brain. At present, there is no immediate cure for autism, but hyperbaric oxygen therapy may help ease your loved one’s state of mind. While autism affects approximately one in sixty children, or more, in the United States, the total scope of the disorder is not fully understood. Regardless of your socioeconomic or ethnic background, your child could possibly be autistic. Worldwide the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders is increasing at approximately 34% annually.
Various case studies were done on the effects of this treatment for children with autism, one in particular from 2007 supports the hypothesis that hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides relief for children who suffer from autism.
Children who are affected are shown to have lower levels of blood flow to the brain as well as increased inflammation in the brain. Due to the disproportionate blood flow to the brain, cognitive functions are impaired. These functions would include behavior, interaction and communication. A hyperbaric oxygen producing environment (H.O.P.E) can improve the brain’s oxygen intake as well as decrease the inflammation in the brain.
Bear in mind – HBOT is NOT a cure for autism. It is simply a major piece of Autism treatment to alleviate and manage some of the symptoms of autism, enabling your loved one to communicate better and modify his or her behavior. You can have H.O.P.E for your loved one.
If you have any questions regarding HBOT, please do not hesitate to contact us at the South Florida Center for H.O.P.E.