On the hyperbaric medicine side, two studies looked at effects of hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) on mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). As you may remember, a few years ago some people started promoting HBOT for this condition, based on wrong assumptions. The hopes of those suffering and of their families skyrocketed. Based on the same wave, diving for mTBI was promoted. One paper (Scorza KA) from U.S. Army Medical material Development Activity, and the other (Wolf EG) from the hyperbaric medicine clinic on Lackland Air Force Base, both indicate that there is no improvement of specific mTBI symptoms. It remains to be tested whether some particular subgroup of injured may benefit.
This summer, DAN is planning to evaluate an already ongoing dive training program offered to subjects with mTBI. We will look at this program as an occupational therapy and will try to evaluate possible effects on executive brain functions.
Post written by: Petar Denoble, MD, D.Sc.