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

J Neurotrauma. 2012 Nov 20;29(17):2606-12

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

Abstract 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 (HBO(2)) on post-concussion
symptoms in 50 military service members with at least one 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 HBO(2) 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 HBO(2) group
revealed no significant differences on the PCL-M composite score (t=-0.205,
p=0.84) or on the ImPACT total score (t=-0.943, p=0.35), demonstrating no
significant effect for HBO(2) at 2.4 ATA. PCL-M composite scores and ImPACT total
scores for sham-control and HBO(2) groups revealed significant improvement over
the course of the study for both the sham-control group (t=3.76, p=0.001) and the
HBO(2) group (t=3.90, p=0.001), demonstrating no significant HBO(2) effect.
Paired t-test results revealed 10 ImPACT scale scores in the sham-control group
improved from pre- to post-testing, whereas two scale scores significantly
improved in the HBO(2) group. One PCL-M measure improved from pre- to
post-testing in both groups. This study showed that HBO(2) at 2.4 ATA pressure
had no effect on post-concussive symptoms after mild TBI.

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