Research Reports - The effect of hyperbaric oxygen on symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury

J Neurotrauma. 2012 Oct 2

Wolf EG, Cifu D, Baugh L, Carne W, Profenna L

In this single-center, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled, prospective
trial at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, the effects of 2.4
atmospheres absolute (ATA) hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) on post-concussion symptoms
in 50 military service members with at least 1 combat-related, mild traumatic
brain injury were examined. Each subject received 30 sessions of either a sham
compression (room air at 1.3 ATA) or HBO2 treatments at 2.4 ATA over an 8-week
period. Individual and total symptoms scores on Immediate Post-Concussion
Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT®) and composite scores on Post-Traumatic
Disorder Check List-Military Version (PCL-M) were measured just prior to
intervention and 6 weeks after completion of intervention. Difference testing of
post-intervention means between the sham-control and HBO2 group revealed no
significant differences on the PCL-M composite score (t= -.205, p=.84) or on the
ImPACT total score (t= -.943, p=.35), demonstrating no significant effect for
HBO2 at 2.4 ATA. PCL-M composite scores and ImPACT total scores for sham-control
and HBO2 groups revealed significant improvement over the course of the study for
both the sham-control group (t=3.76, p=.001) and the HBO2 group (t=3.90, p=.001),
demonstrating no significant HBO2 effect. Paired t-test results revealed 10
ImPACT scale scores in the sham-control group improved from pre- to post-testing,
whereas 2 scale scores significantly improved in the HBO2 group. One PCL-M
measure improved from pre- to post-testing in both groups. This study showed that
HBO2 at 2.4 ATA pressure had no effect on post-concussive symptoms after mild

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