Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is one of the safe, alternative therapies the BART Foundation believes may help brain injury survivors. One way we fulfill our mission is by carefully watching global research and clinical trial outcomes and sharing that information in user-friendly language with the TBI/ABI community. Perhaps if HBOT becomes more widely accepted as a treatment option, TBI/ABI survivors will be able to gain better access to this life-changing treatment.

We wanted to share information we recently reviewed from the August 2023 issue of World Neurosurgery. In this article, researchers from the Departments of Surgery and Radiology, Jupiter Medical Center, Florida; Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania; Pulmonary Medical Associates, Queen of the Valley Medical Center, California; Department of Psychiatry, Memorial Regional Hospital, Florida; and Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, published findings of HBOT treatments for patients with mild/moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The records of TBI patients who underwent increments of 40 sessions of HBOT at 1.5 atmosphere absolute at a single medical center were reviewed. The outcome measures included physical, cognitive (i.e., Trail Making Test, parts A and B; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Evaluation of Cognitive Impairment and Subjective Symptoms tool), and single-photon emission computed tomography findings. The complications and withdrawals were recorded.

During the study period, 17 patients underwent HBOT to manage the long-term conditions of their TBI. Of the 17 patients, 12 completed 120 HBOT sessions and were evaluated 3 months after treatment. All 12 patients had statistically significant improvements in their Trail Making Test, parts A and B, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Evaluation of Cognitive Impairment and Subjective Symptoms scores. Additionally, single-photon emission computed tomography depicted increased cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism among studied subjects compared with the baseline values. A total of 5 patients withdrew from the study, 1 of which was related to new-onset headaches associated with HBOT.

Conclusions: HBOT using 1.5 atmosphere absolute in increments of 40 sessions was found to be a safe and effective modality for managing long-term conditions due to TBI. HBOT should be considered in the management of this patient population.