Director of Information Services
A pilot case control study of veterans of the US armed forces with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or persistent post-concussion syndrome (PPCS), with or without post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has found significant improvements in persistent post-concussion syndrome and PTSD symptoms, neurological exam, memory, intelligence quotient, attention, cognition, depression, anxiety, quality of life, and brain blood flow following hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Compared to controls, the patients’ brain scans were significantly abnormal before treatment and became statistically indistinguishable from controls in 75% of abnormal areas after treatment.
“Simultaneously and most importantly, subjects experienced a significant reduction in suicidal ideation and anxiety, possibly the most significant finding in the study given the current veteran suicide epidemic,” notes Dr. Paul Harch, Clinical Professor and Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine. “The PTSD symptom reduction is one of the greatest reductions in PTSD symptoms in a four-week period with any reported treatment, and combined with the effect on PPCS outcomes, HBOT represents the only reported effective treatment for the combined diagnoses of blast-induced PPCS and PTSD.”
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the use of increased atmospheric pressure and increased oxygen levels to treat disease. Treatment effects are a function of dose and timing of intervention in the disease process.
“Dr. Paul Harch, for the past three and a half decades, has meticulously researched and published quality laboratory and clinical research about the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen in treatment of sub- acute and chronic TBI, convincingly demonstrating its efficacy by favorable outcomes with careful statistical substantiation of his findings,” says Dr. Keith Van Meter, Clinical Professor and Chief of Emergency Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine. “He has added to his quality team of researchers, and their steadfast persistence has achieved these remarkable results.”
In addition to Drs. Harch and Fogarty, the research team also included Dr. Keith Van Meter, Juliette Lucarini and Dr. Susan Andrews.
Dr. Harch and Juliette Lucarini own a small hyperbaric consulting company. Dr. Van Meter owns a hyperbaric equipment leasing company and the treatment facility. Dr. Fogarty is President of the International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation and owns a holding company for a mobile hyperbaric clinic.