Autism and Hyperbarics Lethbridge

Hyperbaric therapy has been
shown in studies to improve:

  • Physical function
  • Digestive health
  • Mental function
  • Behavioral function
  • Brain healing and repair
  • Eye contact
  • Cognitive and sensory awareness

The alarming number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in recent years has tragically increased; from 1 in 150 children in 2000 to 1 in 88 children in 2008. Due to that increase, more and more parents have turned to alternative forms of treatments to counteract the underlying symptoms of autism. Traditional medicines have often failed at producing desired results for many patients with autism and their families.  However, studies have demonstrated hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) as an emerging treatment that parents and physicians are utilizing to help reduce the effects of ASD. This non-invasive treatment is as simple as a one hour daily session, where the parent and child enter a hyperbaric chamber and receive increased levels of oxygen. HBOT has been shown to decrease inflammation and improve cognitive functions, which have substantially helped thousands of ASD patients.

Studies have demonstrated the benefits of HBOT for autism with the following:

  • Enhance Brain Healing & Repair: increases oxygen delivery to oxygen deprived tissues, reduces brain inflammation, moderates mitochondria dysfunction, stimulates the creation of new brain cells, reduces seizure frequency, stimulates the creation of new brain connections
  • Improve Physical Function: promotes receptive/expressive language, improves movement & walking, stimulates better eye contact, improves gross/fine motor skills
  • Advance Mental Function: improves sensory/cognitive awareness, increases attention span & alertness
  • Improve Behavioral Function: improves sleep pattern, advances social skills & interaction, reduces aggression
  • Improve Digestive Function: reduces gastrointestinal issues, decreases inflammation, enhances nutritional absorption

Study: Autism Symptoms Reduced with HBOT

  • In 2009, a multi-center, randomized, controlled, double-blind trial was published, investigating the introduction of HBOT with 56 children diagnosed with ASD, ages 2-7. The study consisted of six separate HBOT centers that treated 30 children with 40 one hour sessions over the course of four weeks; whereas the remaining 26 children underwent sham treatment. Upon completion of this study, 80 percent of the treatment group’s mean physician Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scores for overall functioning, receptive language, social interaction and eye contact significantly improved. Major improvements within the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) were observed in irritability, stereotypy, hyperactivity, and speech. Finally, the treated children’s rating on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) with respect to sensor/cognitive awareness, exemplified substantial improvement. Hyperbaric treatment was confirmed safe and well tolerated by the children and their parents in both groups.