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High-Pressure Oxygen Therapy Holds Promise as One of the Treatments for Autism!


Hyperbaric oxygen treatment of autism (autism) has attracted widespread attention from scholars at home and abroad. Hyperbaric oxygen has a significant anti-inflammatory effect on children with autism, can improve cerebral perfusion, enhance immune system function, improve children's self-care ability, and improve their cognition and cognition-related symptoms. The latest foreign research found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can reduce the core symptoms of children with autism and the effect is better than risperidone.


Introduction: In recent years, many researchers have carried out research on the clinical application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of autism. This article will introduce three of these studies to explain the specific role and possible principles of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in improving autism.


Background introduction


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) refers to the treatment of certain diseases by inhaling high concentrations of oxygen in an environment higher than one atmospheric pressure (hyperbaric oxygen chamber). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can greatly increase the level of physical dissolved oxygen in the blood, and at the same time promote the formation of new blood vessels, so as to repair the tissue damage caused by poor blood supply and oxygen supply. At present, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been clinically applied to the treatment of various acute and chronic ischemic hypoxic diseases, infectious diseases and related diseases, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, air embolism, gas gangrene, burns and so on.


In recent years, multiple studies have demonstrated the ability of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to improve symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The following three articles will be introduced to take you through the research progress of hyperbaric oxygen therapy machine in the field of autism (also known as autism).

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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has the potential to assist in the treatment of autism


Hosam M. Ahmad of the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population and colleagues compared the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and taking risperidone in alleviating ASD symptoms through clinical trials and found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can reduce the core symptoms of ASD children and the effect is better than that of risperidone ketone. The research results will be included in the journal Basic and Clinical Neuroscience in July 2021.


Risperidone is one of the drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of autism in children. A total of 180 Egyptian ASD children aged 5-8 years were recruited in this study and were divided into hyperbaric oxygen therapy group, risperidone group and control group according to the treatment plan, with 60 ASD children in each group.


Children in the hyperbaric oxygen therapy group had to receive treatment at least 5 times a week, inhaling pure oxygen at 1.5 atmospheres for 1 hour each time and received 40 times of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in total.


A randomized double-blind trial was conducted for ASD children in the risperidone group and the control group, taking either risperidone or placebo for 6 months. After the treatment was completed, the Autism Rating Scale for Children (CARS) and the Autism Therapy Evaluation Scale (ATEC) were evaluated by clinicians who were not aware of the grouping situation. Among them, the ATEC scale consists of 4 parts, namely: verbal ability, social ability, sensory integration cognitive ability, and physiological behavior.


The results showed that compared with the control group, the CARS score and sensory cognition ability of ASD children in the risperidone group were significantly improved, while the CARS score, ATEC total score, speech ability, sensory cognition ability of ASD children in the hyperbaric oxygen therapy group were significantly improved. Ability and physical performance were significantly improved. At the same time, it was found that the CARS score, ATEC total score and physiological behavior of ASD children in the hyperbaric oxygen therapy group were more significantly improved than those in the risperidone group, and the degree of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on the sensory cognition of ASD children was comparable to that in the risperidone group.


The above results suggest that hyperbaric oxygen machine has the ability to reduce the core symptoms of ASD children, and the effect is better than risperidone.

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Children with autism often show heightened sensitivity to sounds. Tomatis music therapy was founded by French otolaryngologist Alfred A. Tomatis in the 1960s, mainly by playing Mozart music, Gregorian chant and mother's voice to children, and highlighting the high-frequency sounds. Clinical trials have shown that Tomatis music therapy can enhance children's ability to process environmental sounds and reduce their sensitivity to sounds, thereby alleviating the impatience and irritability of ASD children and gradually improving their social skills, thereby improving autism symptoms.


Khaled Saad's research group from Asyut University in Egypt explored the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Tomatis music therapy and the combination of the two on alleviating the symptoms of ASD children, and published the research results in Progress in Neuro- Journal of Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.


A total of 146 Egyptian children with ASD aged 5-14 years were recruited for the study. Among them, 34 people in the hyperbaric oxygen therapy group, each inhaled pure oxygen for at least 1 hour at 1.5 atmospheres each time, must complete 40 hyperbaric oxygen therapy within 3 months; Completed 15 sessions of Tomatis music therapy within one month, 2 hours each time; 49 people in the combined treatment group, combined with the above two programs for combined treatment; 25 people in the control group, did not receive any treatment. After the treatment, the tested children were scored with the CARS scale.


The results showed that the CARS scores of the three groups of ASD children who received treatment were significantly reduced, among which the effect of the hyperbaric oxygen therapy group was comparable to that of the Tomatis music therapy group, and the curative effect of the combined therapy group was significantly better than that of only hyperbaric oxygen therapy or Tomatis music therapy group. Tis Music Therapy for Children with ASD. This suggests that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can not only relieve the symptoms of ASD children, but also improve the effect of Tomatis music therapy. Tomatis music therapy combined with hyperbaric oxygen therapy has a better effect on improving the symptoms of ASD children.


The above two studies have shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve the symptoms of autism, and has the potential of adjuvant treatment of autism.

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Improving cerebral blood flow may be the reason why hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves autism symptoms


Farida El-baz and colleagues at Ain Shams University in Egypt investigated the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on regional cerebral blood flow in children with autism. A total of 20 Egyptian autistic children aged 2-9 were recruited for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and each person inhaled pure oxygen at 1.5 atmospheres for 1-1.5 hours each time. Among them, 8 people had 20 times of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, 1 person had 30 times of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and 11 people had 40 times of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In addition, ATEC and CARS scales were assessed for all subjects before and after hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and brain magnetic resonance perfusion imaging was performed on 6 of them to measure changes in regional cerebral blood flow.


The results showed that after 20 to 40 sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the CARS score, ATEC total score, speech ability, social ability, sensory cognitive ability and physiological behavior of children with autism were significantly improved compared with those before treatment, and more Blood flow was significantly increased in four relevant brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex, frontal cortex, thalamus, and superficial temporal region. The above results suggest that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can increase blood flow in some brain regions of children with autism, which may be one of the reasons why hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve the symptoms of children with autism.

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The above three studies have shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve the symptoms of autism and has the potential of adjuvant treatment of autism. The principle may be to increase blood flow in some brain regions of children. Therefore, the general application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of autism can accumulate more clinical experience and evidence-based basis.


In the consensus on "Indications and Contraindications of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy" (2018 Edition) [4] of the Hyperbaric Oxygen Branch of the Chinese Medical Association, autism in children is an indication that may benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for autism has its rationale. Therefore, for children with autism, the expert consensus recommends the implementation of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.


In the past two years, a series of foreign studies on autism (autism) have further confirmed that hyperbaric oxygen can improve the language and sensory integration and cognitive abilities of children with autism, and optimize physiological behavior; The curative effect of the treatment plan; increase the blood flow in the brain of children with autism, improve the neurological function of related brain areas, etc. At present, the application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for autism at home and abroad has received more and more attention and recognition. Its treatment mechanism is clear and good clinical effects have been obtained. The potential of hyperbaric oxygen comprehensive treatment of autism is huge, and it may help to overcome autism in the end, and also open a window of hope into reality for the families of thousands of children with autism.


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