Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Hyperbaric oxygen treatments help autism
Rossignol and his colleagues have just reported the results of their study on hyperbaric oxygen treatments or "dives," on 62 autistic children aged 2-7, in a peer-reviewed, pediatric journal. The study found that children with autism receiving the hyperbaric treatment had significant improvements in overall functioning, receptive language, social interaction, eye contact, and sensory and cognitive awareness compared to children in the non-treatment group. This is the first randomized, controlled, double-blind multicenter trial on the subject. Although the exact mechanism is still unclear, Dr. Rossignol believes the pressure in the chamber may reduce inflammation believed to restrict blood flow to the regions of autistic children's brains that control speech, or it may improve its ability to absorb oxygen.