How Hyperbaric Chamber in Cozumel Provides Aid for Autism to Patients
How Hyperbaric Chamber in Cozumel Provides Aid for Autism to Patients

The Mexican Red Cross has recently installed a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in the island of Cozumel. Daniel Cortez Gomez, the president of the organization, had confirmed in February, that the device would be operational from April onwards, after the clinical staff have completed their requisite training.

This novel program has been initiated to provide relief to the denizens of Cozumel who are ailing from medical conditions such as autism spectrum disorders, diabetes, brain abscess, etc.

The Mexican Red Cross has invested approximately 475,000 pesos into this pioneering project and the facility has been designed to accommodate around 100 people at any given time. This hyperbaric oxygen chamber is expected to decrease the operating costs by almost 90 percent, as the oxygen will be directly administered to the patients through a facial mask.

This remarkable initiative will enable the island community at Cozumel to experience the positive effects and benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an alternative therapy that has been administered since the early 1960s’ to treat decompression sickness in divers. Over the years, doctors have been administering this treatment to treat several other medical conditions such as gas embolism, toxic poisoning, burn injury, non-healing diabetic wounds, and radiation injury.

In recent times, researchers have observed that HBOT is being considered as an effective aid for treating autism spectrum disorders.

How Does Autism Spectrum Disorder Affect Children?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodegenerative condition that affects the basic cognitive abilities such as speech, memory, focus, and motor functions in a patient. This disorder is known to occur due to factors such as prenatal or perinatal complications. Environmental risks and extended exposure to toxins or drugs are also known to cause autism in children.

Autistic persons are known to display repetitive or restrictive behavioral patterns that hamper their social interaction with the rest of the world. Listed below are a few medical conditions that are common in autistic children:

  • Mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • Cerebral hypoperfusion.
  • Immune dysregulation.
  • Inflammation.
  • Oxidative stress.

How Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Be Used As An Effective Aid For Autism?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is known to have numerous neuroprotective benefits.

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the child with autism is placed in a pressurized compartment known as a hyperbaric chamber. Thereon, pure oxygen is administered to the patient at enhanced pressure levels that are 1.2 to 5 times greater than normal atmospheric pressure.

The pressurized oxygen instantly dissolves into the bodily fluids of the patient and gets transferred to the oxygen-deprived areas of the brain and other parts of the body, where the supply of oxygen was diminished due to damage to the blood vessels.

In the last decade, researchers have conducted several clinical trials to study the benefits of hyperbaric therapy on autistic children. Observations during these research trials have indicated that the increased concentration of pure oxygen inhaled by the patient during hyperbaric oxygen therapy can:

  • Reduce inflammation by decreasing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-alphaand interferon gamma in the affected areas of the brain.
  • Increase counter-inflammatory IL-10 levels.
  • Minimize mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • Enhance the proliferation of antioxidant enzymes.
  • Ease oxidative stress levels.

Patients on the autism spectrum experience significant improvements in their cognitive abilities following their hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions. During the last decade, several doctors who have been treating autistic persons through HBOT on a regular basis, have noticed certain encouraging outcomes such as:

  • Better word recall.
  • Enhanced memory retention.
  • Improved attention span.
  • Increased picture recognition skills.

Using HBOT To Combat Neuroinflammation In Children With Autism:

Autistic children ailing from neuro-inflammation related irregularities also display reduced neopterin levels following their hyperbaric therapy.

Recently, a controlled clinical study was conducted on a rat hippocampus to measure the effects of HBOT. The trial results revealed a substantial increase in the mitochondrial biogenesis and autophagy following the hyperbaric treatment.

HBOT For Reducing Oxidative Stress Levels:

Two studies conducted on children with ASD also revealed a marked reduction in their oxidative stress levels. The levels of antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, heme-oxygenase, and paraxonase were observed to be much higher in the patients following the HBOT sessions.

Behavioral Improvements In Autistic Children Caused by HBOT:

Autistic children are known to have experienced a definitive improvement in their communication skills, social interaction, and stereotypical behavioral patterns after undergoing 20 sessions of hyperbaric therapy.

HBOT For Irritable Bowel Movement and Gastro-intestinal Problems:

Hyperbaric experts have indicated that a 3-year-old boy with autism experienced his first regular bowel movement after undergoing hyperbaric therapy. Numerous hyperbaric experts have reported similar instances of improved gastro-intestinal complications in autistic children after the administration of successive sessions of HBOT treatment.

In Conclusion

Aid for autism through HBOT is definitely the need of the hour for ensuring a better standard of living for patients with ASD. The recent installation of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Cozumel by the Mexican Red Cross, has paved the way for creating a healthier future for children suffering from autism spectrum disorders.

Being a medical assistant, I keep myself up to date with the latest happenings in the world of medicine. I'm also an active blogger & love to share my knowledge.
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Autism, Autism, Hyperbaric Therapy, Hyperbaric Therapy, HBOt Chambers, HBOt Chambers, Hyperbaric Chamber, Hyperbaric Chamber, Aid for Autism, Aid for Autism,

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