Could Help The Almost 400,000 Brain Injured Service Members And Veterans Returning From Iraq.
Today, the prestigious peer-reviewed journal, Brain Research, published an article that verifies rats with an old traumatic brain injury can be healed with a protocol perfected by treating humans since 1978. Traumatic brain injury is a condition that denies oxygen to certain parts of the brain which causes inflammation, cell death, and loss of use. Intermittent treatments with pure oxygen, called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) saturate these oxygen-deprived tissues with up to 10X the amount of oxygen we breathe. HBOT has now been shown to restore function and heal these old brain injuries. It is approved for other kinds of wound care.
Lead author of the study, Paul G. Harch, M.D., Hyperbaric Medicine Fellowship director at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, who teaches other doctors how to use pressurized oxygen as a drug, stated, “We have now demonstrated that rats can be treated for chronic traumatic brain injuries just like we’ve treated humans for their brain injuries for the past 21 years.” This treatment originally developed to treat injured divers, carbon monoxide poisoned patients, and wound patients has now been used by hundreds of doctors around the world to treat thousands of patients with different types of chronic brain injury. In 2002 and 2004, Dr. Harch presented some of his case experience to Congress, Walter Reed Brain Injury Center, Bethesda Naval Hospital, and the National Institutes of Health. Since traumatic brain injury is the signature injury in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, the military has indicated as many as 300,000 soldiers may have suffered some traumatic brain injury. This animal research now verifies and underpins the human experience.
With this study, the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF), in conjunction with the International Hyperbaric Medical Association, is announcing the Brain Injury Rescue and Rehabilitation Project (BIRR), coordinated across the nation with clinics willing to treat our brain injured service members with hyperbaric oxygen.
A recent study released by the military states between 154,000 and 392,000 service members and veterans returning from Iraq have suffered at least mild brain injury, and 30% of service members treated at Walter Reed have mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury. Brenna Hill, Executive Director of AAHF stated, “To date U.S. military medicine has not implemented hyperbaric oxygen as standard of care, though some high ranking officers have been able to receive treatment. This latest study should show that it is time that hyperbaric oxygen was available for all who have sacrificed for our country.” Together, AAHF and IHMA is requesting $10 million from Congress to coordinate and conduct treatment for 400 veterans. This is a sufficient group for this randomized and controlled trial to verify or refute the findings of the civilian physicians who have treated many patients and have expertise in this treatment.
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Cralle Physical Therapy and Hyperbaric Oxygen Delray Beach, Florida