Here are some articles to read on HBOT and neurological injuries in general.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy assists with traumatic injury
May 7th 2008
By: Ivanhoe Broadcast News Service Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) was originally created to treat medical conditions caused by scuba diving. One condition, decompression sickness, or ‘the bends,’ can be painful and sometimes deadly. During a dive, nitrogen gas enters the body. If a diver surfaces too quickly and returns to normal pressure, the gas expands rapidly inside the body without being released fast enough. In divers, HBOT is also used to treat gas embolism, which occurs when gas bubbles enter arteries, veins and/or capillaries, resulting in poor blood flow. Traditionally, HBOT uses a pressurized chamber to deliver 100 percent oxygen to the body. In our normal environment, the air we breathe is about 20 percent oxygen and 80 percent nitrogen. According to the United States National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, the air pressure inside a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber is two and one half times greater than normal atmospheric pressure. For certain conditions approved by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), Medicare and some health insurers will cover HBOT. In private clinics, HBOT sessions can cost from $100 to $200 while hospitals may charge over $1,000. HBOT has also been found to be effective for traumatic brain injury, strokes, cerebral palsy, autism, near drowning, near hanging, birth injury, genetic disorders like mitochondrial disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, among other conditions.
Paul G. Harch, M.D., a hyperbaric and emergency medicine physician, talks about hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Dr. Harch The pressure of the atmosphere in the chamber increases as 100 percent oxygen is added to the chamber. That oxygen is dissolved into the lungs and into the liquid portion of the blood. It reaches areas in the body it normally wouldn’t reach because of the very high concentration.
Dr. Harch There is a characteristic of severe traumatic brain injury where normally the blood flow and metabolism, like gasoline and RPMs in an engine, are tightly coupled. In a severe injury, blood flow and metabolism are uncoupled, so blood is rushing through the blood vessels and the cells are damaged and essentially not working. There has never been, in the history of science, any drug or therapy that has been able to recouple this severe derangement until hyperbaric oxygen. It was demonstrated that a single treatment in acute severe traumatic brain injury, in the first few days after injury, could recouple the severe derangement in the brain. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a remarkable discovery.
Dr. Harch A variety of things from the acute injury. Some of the machinery of the cells can be so damaged that they can only live in a kind of low RPM state. The cells are just humming, idling along, and there is something about hyperbaric oxygen that overrides that freeze on the machinery and the next thing you know the cells start to function again. As this is done repetitively, however, what seems to happen is new blood vessels are growing in the damaged areas and that makes the brain cells function better.
Dr. Harch Oxygen stimulates growth of new tissue. Everywhere this has been done in the body with hyperbaric oxygen therapy to chronic wounds, the net effect has been the growth of new blood vessels and new tissue. Indirectly, we proved that in an animal model and there is no other way, I think, to explain what is going on in humans.
Dr. Harch It depends on their injury, but I do a lengthy physical exam. I usually do a video part on the exam to try to capture things that are not easily captured on and recorded on a written physical exam, and then I often image them. I image them with a brain blood flow type of imaging that shows the functional abnormalities, which leaves us some choices. We can put them in the chamber once, take them out, and repeat that scan and see if we have affected their brain with just one treatment or I treat them in a prolonged fashion and then at some other point, begin to re-image them. Some people we don’t image, I just go ahead and start treating them and they go through a series of treatments. I try to get them to about 40 treatments and it seems like it’s a magic number for the human body to respond to hyperbaric oxygen. By that point we usually have permanent improvements in function.
One young adult patient, five and a half years after severe traumatic brain injury, had been to every rehab facility and finally, was treated with hyperbaric oxygen. The right temporal lobe and the cerebral lobes, plus other areas in the brain, became very noticeably affected by the hyperbaric oxygen. According to the brain blood flow scan, there had been significant reductions in blood flow due to her injury. After a single hyperbaric treatment we saw noticeable improvements in this patient’s very damaged areas that were similarly improved after four months of hyperbaric treatment. Clinically, she was functioning better, she was improved in her ability to write, had improvements in her endurance, ability to walk, and in her emotional state.
Dr. Harch It depends on the diagnosis. For instance, in the case of near drowning — the most difficult of all to treat — you will see some improvements in their tone, awareness. You can see their seizures decrease in frequency and severity. We don’t usually see the dramatic types of changes in chronic near-drowning because there is so much brain damage. In patients with traumatic brain injury and, for instance mild traumatic brain injury, there is only microscopic loss of tissue. Most of their deficits are cognitive and emotional; short temperedness, irritability, fatigue, memory problems, attention, concentration. After HBOT there is a general improvement in a majority of those functions; a return to their pre-injury status.
Dr. Harch On a biological level, all I can tell you is we appear to be repairing some of the damaged tissue. The hardest evidence I have is what we did in an animal model where we saw an increase in blood vessel density to the damaged area and simultaneously the rats were able to recover some of their lost cognitive abilities (their short-term memory). You have to have new tissue growth and making new connections to recover that function. I think that is probably what is going on in the humans as well.
Dr. Harch Yes, in different models and, for instance in an acute severe traumatic brain injury, we have more clues and evidence of the effectiveness of HBOT then we do for almost any one of the other 14 indications that are approved by the FDA and reimbursed by both insurance companies and Medicare.
Dr. Harch It turns their life around, which is what is so rewarding about this and why I keep doing this. Our brain controls all of our being, our intellectual function, our personality, our jobs, our relationships, our emotions — everything — and when people who have such dysfunction recover; it changes their lives in immeasurable ways.
Dr. Harch Oh, I see it as revolutionizing medicine because there are so many applications and I talked about them in the book. It has been confirmed in a study that animals can be resuscitated 25 minutes after warm cardiac arrest or 25 minutes after they are dead. It is unparalleled and it started with a case about a human in a hyperbaric chamber who is alive today and fully functional; however, in human terms, the longest amount of time is usually about 15 minutes of warm cardiac arrest and no one survives. Cardiac arrest, surgical complications, dementia, traumatic brain injuries, residual effects of stroke, cerebral palsy, autism — the list of possible things treatable with hyperbaric technology goes on and on. This is a little bit of an atypical route that we are going here, but its necessary because the impact of this and the potential, especially now for the hundreds of thousands of brain-injured soldiers just in our country alone; but for traumatic brain injury worldwide, this could change healthcare so dramatically that what we are doing here today is very important.
Dr. Harch As I mentioned to you earlier, it appears to be causing new tissue growth. Between the input of hyperbaric oxygen and the output of new tissue, no one understood the intermediate steps until the last 15 years. Now, with biochemical techniques that are more sophisticated, we are finding the oxygen acts like a drug and the sight of action is in the DNA in the cells. The oxygen is unlocking and stimulating certain gene sequences that code for growth and repair hormones. The oxygen is stimulating the DNA in our cells to begin to transcribe these hormones that then cause growth and repair.
Dr. Harch About $200
Oxygen therapy gave us back our child
Why is a remarkable treatment being denied to thousands of desperate patients? Elizabeth Grice reports Andrew Waddington is as limp as a sleeping child in his father’s arms. But he is not asleep and there is something disturbing about this kind of floppiness. His head is lolling and swinging. His limbs seem weak and uncontrolled. Ten years ago, during a routine 10-minute operation to correct an undescended testicle, Andrew was deprived of oxygen. The medical accident, known euphemistically as “acquired brain injury”, left him with a condition resembling cerebral palsy. Now he is 13, a handsome boy who communicates by moving his heavy head in a semi-circle – right for yes, left for no, and subtle gradations in between, on a scale of one to 10. “How was school today, Andrew?” his mother, Teresa, asks him. His head sweeps round three-quarters of the arc towards the right. “I see, seven out of 10.” “He may appear to be a terrible case,” Teresa says, “but if you had seen him before you’d realise just how far he has come. He could not see. He could not understand. He cried all day. We spent all our time trying to alleviate his distress. “We were told he would probably only ever recognise me as a ‘familiar smell’. Doctors said there was no hope; to put him in a home, to have another child.” Andrew spent 21 months at Alder Hey Hospital’s brain injury unit in Liverpool. Then the Waddingtons heard about a children’s naturopathic clinic in Lancaster, close to their home, run by former nurse and midwife Jane Dean. In desperation, they took him to see her. “Andrew’s body was curved like a banana,” recalls Dean. “He had no control over any of his muscles and was being fed through a tube. He was on 16 different kinds of medication. There was no cognition at all. “He had that high-pitched ‘cerebral’ cry that, once you have heard, you hope never to hear again in your life. My heart went out to him. I thought, ‘Surely there must be more we can do.’” Dean had recently watched a television programme about the remarkable healing powers of oxygen administered under pressure, known as hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT). She decided to see if it would help Andrew. She rented a hyperbaric oxygen chamber and had it installed on an industrial estate in Lancaster. For six months, Andrew was treated there three to five times a week. He has now been receiving HBOT for eight years and his improvement, say his parents, is little short of miraculous. “Before the treatment, his body was tight all the time,” says Teresa. “His understanding came back very quickly. To begin with, he couldn’t see. But now he can read, his maths is good and he can tell the time. He is starting to be able to squeeze a switch, which could open up a new form of communication. We take him to football matches and to horse-riding for the disabled. He remembers everything. He will never walk, but we have our child back. I believe in my heart that if he had gone into a hyperbaric oxygen chamber as soon as the accident happened, he would probably have been OK.” Doctors might be more circumspect, perhaps, but access to HBOT for Andrew at the time of his accident would have been as unlikely then as it is now for thousands of people who could benefit from it. Most doctors are unaware of the therapeutic potential of oxygen because they are not taught about it as medical students. However, research shows that not only can it reverse potentially fatal conditions, such as radiation tissue damage, carbon-monoxide poisoning, gas gangrene and necrosis (when tissue dies following infection), it is also effective for wounds that fail to heal and a wide range of other conditions, including multiple sclerosis. Oxygen is crucial to tissue repair, but its delivery is often impaired by damage to blood vessels. Breathing high levels under hyperbaric conditions (increased atmospheric pressure) raises the amount of dissolved oxygen in the circulation – so more reaches the tissues
Special Educational Needs: Therapeutic motives
Oct 2007,: Pragya Kaushika,TNN
For those whose children are suffering from brain disorders and cannot fit into the mainstream education system, Shannon Kenitz is a ray of hope. An advocate of Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy, Kenitz claims that many children have been cured of their mental and physical disorders and that they were able to join school by overcoming their handicap. The therapy helps balance the oxygen level required by brain cells and eventually activates them. As executive director of the International Hyperbaric Association, Kenitz has become a flag-bearer for parents searching for answers to disorders and disabilities, like Autism Spectrum Disorders and Cerebral Palsy, in their children. Kenitz who is from California, was in the Capital recently to attend a conference organised by Udaan, a non-governmental organisation. “These children are fighting death, and educating them is the last thing on their parents’ minds. The first step is to help them survive. And oxygen therapy has actually seen a history of cases where, after just a few years, children with cerebral palsy have recovered and even joined special schools,” she said. Kenitz herself has an eight-year-old daughter suffering from mitochondrial cytochrome c. Her daughter, Grace, is the first to have ever survived the disease. Grace was visually-impaired and had suffered seizures before undergoing oxygen therapy. Today, Grace is able to see and has only recently recognised her mother, for the first time in eight years. “When Grace was three years old, she was in a vegetative state and the doctors had given up on her. Now, I hope she will be able to join a school soon,” said Kenitz. Although Kenitz won the battle against the government and insurance companies, who had listed Grace as a terminal patient, she is still determined to spread awareness about the treatment available for brain-damaged children and to help parents like her. “My goal is to work with the Indian government and help children who are suffering due to lack of awareness and could instead be educated,” she added
No more wheelchair van for Josh. He prefers the Mercedes convertible!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Feeling Hopeful. Today we went downtown in the convertible for Josh’s oxygen treatment. We practiced with Erin, his physical therapist, getting Josh in and out of the car. Josh did great! We walked to the car, got in and drove off. Josh sat next to me and checked out the scenery. He looked a bit confused, but did extremely well. He asked where we were going and I told him, “We’re going downtown for an oxygen treatment.” Josh says, “Okay”. He’s pretty agreeable these days…. Once we arrived at San Diego Hyperbarics, Bob Sands had an entourage of doctors there. Bob is so thrilled with Josh’s progress. He boasts about Josh to all his colleagues and they wanted to see for themselves “the wonder boy”. I met Dr. Cummins who spoke to my brother, Mike, several times when Josh was in a deep coma at University Medical Center in Tucson. He is doing his fellowship in hyperbaric medicine at UCSD. Mike had called Dr. Cummins a few times to see if they would get Josh in a hyperbaric chamber at UCSD. UCSD would not treat Josh as traditional hospitals do not use hyperbaric oxygen therapy for anoxic brain injuries. Dr. Cummins wanted to check out San Diego Hyperbarics since he had never been there. I shot the breeze with Dr. Cummins when Josh was gettting his treatment. There were two other doctors present when Josh got out of the chamber. They all watched as Josh stood up and walked to the chair. Bob gave Josh a bottled water and he guzzled it down. Bob says, “You don’t mind, Paula, if I tell these guys about Josh, do you? ” I said “No, I don’t mind at all.” Bob tells the guys about Josh being in a coma and coming by ambulance for his oxygen treatments in early May. He tells them how he progressed from coming in an ambulance to coming by wheelchair van. And today, Josh walked into the place! Josh was sitting in the chair, taking this all in…. Josh then says, “When do I get my treatment?” I said, “Josh, you just had your treatment…” Josh looks a bit puzzled. I tell him not to worry about a thing that he is just having trouble remembering things. Everything will be okay in time. We walk out of the place, get in the car and head back to Sharp Rehab. It’s interesting. Once Josh is standing up and gets his balance, he starts walking really fast. I am trying to break him of the habit of learning forward with his upper chest. I constantly remind him to pinch his shoulders back and look up so as not to fall forward. He’s getting it. Once we arrive back at the hospital, Josh gets situated in a sitting position in his bed and tells me to call room service….he’s hungry…. After I call the kitchen to order Josh’s dinner I say, “Hey, Josh, did you enjoy riding in the car today?” I was expecting him to say, “I didn’t ride in any car today.” Instead, Josh says, “Yeah, I did.” I say “Josh, you remembered! That’s great!” Josh looks at me like I am crazy and says, “That was only ten minutes ago, why wouldn’t I remember?”
Hyperbaric oxygen in neurosurgery.
2009 Mar 11. Acta Neurochir (Wien)
Fischer BR, Speckmann EJ, Greiner C, Gorji A, Wölfer J, Wassmann H.
Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital of Münster (UKM), Albert-Schweitzer-Strasse 33, 48129, Münster, Germany.
BACKGROUND: The therapeutic use of pure oxygen, even under hyperbaric conditions, has been well established for about 50 years, whereas the discovery of oxygen occurred 250 years earlier. Many neurosurgical patients suffer from brain tissue damage, due to reduced blood flow, obstructive vessel disease, or as a result of traumatic brain injury. METHODS AND RESULTS: The application of pure oxygen in these patients is the only method of increasing the O(2) concentration in tissue with impaired blood supply and can minimize secondary impairment of brain tissue. DISCUSSION: In this brief historical overview we focus on the development and evidence of hyperbaric oxygenation in this specific field of insufficient oxygen supply to the central neural tissue. CONCLUSION: With the use of modern biological methods and new study designs, HBO has a place in evidence-based treatment of patients with neural tissue damage
Influence of hyperbaric oxygen treatment on neural plasticity in experimental rats
Department of Neurology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008, China.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the influence of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO)treatment on neural plasticity and it’s mechanism in experimental rats with cerebral ischemia. METHODS: Ninety-healthy male adult Sprague-Dawley rats (3 to approximately 4 month old) were randomly divided into a pseudo-operative group, a model group, and an HBO therapy group. The middle cerebral artery occlusion model was duplicated with suture methods, then we used beam walking test(BWT) to determine the motor skill of the rats and immunohistochemistry method to detect the distribution and location of microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2) and glial fibrillary acidic protein(GFAP). Quantitative real-time PCR was used to detect the expression of Map-2 mRNA and GFAP mRNA. RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry showed that the fluorescence gray scale value of Map-2 in the HBO group was the highest in 3 groups at 1st week and 2nd week (P<0.05).The value of GFAP was lower than that of the model group but higher than that of the sham operated group(P<0.05). Real-time fluorescence-quantitative PCR indicated that the Map-2 mRNA of HBO group was the highest in 3 groups at 1st week and 2nd week (P<0.05); but the value of GFAP mRNA in the HBO group is lower than that of the model group,but higher than that of the sham operated group at 1st week and 2nd week (P<0.05). CONCLUSION: After cerebral infarction, giving hyperbaric oxygenation treatment can improve the limbs motor function, and hyperbaric oxygenation treatment can increase the expression of Map-2 and decrease the expression of GFAP, which promote neural plasticity
Unique therapy generates new hope for 12-year-old Union City girl’s family
February 9, 2009 by: Glenda H. Caudle
Five weeks to new hope. That describes Meri-Morgan Bowling’s world. On Jan. 5, the 12-year-old daughter of Union City High School head football coach Darren and Dawn Bowling began three weeks of intensive therapy at Pediatric Fitness Center in Keego Harbor, Mich., with Richard Koscielny. This innovative physical therapist’s “suit therapy,” designed first to assist his own daughter, who was born with cerebral palsy, offered hope for Meri-Morgan. Miss Morgan, the dark-haired, dark-eyed daughter and second child of the Bowlings, was diagnosed with Chromosome 1p36 Deletion Syndrome when she was 4 years old and her family was living in Mississippi. Physicians at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, who finally provided the diagnoses the family had been seeking since their precious little girl was 6 weeks old, could offer nothing else, however. Hers was the first case of the “rare” condition they had seen and they had no ideas, no cures, no expectations, no real hope. Chromosomes are the parts of human cells that contain genetic information. Chromosome 1 is one of the 23 pairs of chromosomes present in human beings. People normally have two copies of this chromosome. Chromosome 1 is the largest human chromosome and represents about 8 percent of the total DNA in cells, according to information gathered from a Web site about the condition. The site goes on to say that the “p” stands for the short or “petite” arm of the chromosome, while “36” indicates the location of the deletion on the chromosome. Patients may have different-sized pieces of the chromosome missing and this can result in characteristic variability. Children with Chromosome 1p36 Deletion Syndrome rarely acquire their chromosome disorder from their parents, although some do. Some common features of 1p36 are developmental delay, learning disability, hypotonia (low muscle tone), feeding difficulties, distinctive facial features, hearing loss, microcephaly, heart problems, seizures, vision defects and a large fontanelle that is slow to close. The severity of the associated disorders varies, but the physical features of these children are strikingly similar, the site reports. The disorder affects approximately 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 10,000 children born. Another name for the condition is Monosomy 1p36. The monosomy can be “pure” or can occur in connection with additional chromosomal imbalances. For the next eight years following the diagnosis, as the family moved to Louisiana and then to Obion County — where Bowling was first hired as head football coach at Obion County Central High School, moved to the same position at Dyersburg High School and in 2008 came to the UCHS program — Meri-Morgan grew in height and put on some weight. But her muscle development lagged so far behind that sitting without support was virtually impossible for any length of time. Walking, and its precursors — crawling and creeping — were things her older brother, Chase, and younger twin siblings, Taylor and Tyler, did right on schedule. Meri-Morgan navigated some of the same territory they covered by rolling. Her maternal grandmother even referred to her as the “professional roller,” among family and friends. It was her means of locomotion and her game plan for staying involved with her busy family. She inspired her father to write a song, “ Angel With Two Broken Wings,” and she seemed to soak up the love of those who shared her home and the daily nurse and therapist who came to work with her in hopes of preventing the small amount of muscle development she had from deteriorating. Meanwhile, as her body continued to grow, the challenge of moving her from place to place increased and hope faced some tough challenges. Meri-Morgan was unhappy in her wheelchair for any length of time. She could not maintain eye contact. She could not speak. She could not feed herself. She could not communicate except to express distress when something was wrong. She could, however, inspire love and devotion. And that she did in abundance.
In late summer of 2008, Meri-Morgan’s therapist (Kelli McBride) and her nurse (Jackie Northam) began to notice some startling changes in the “tween’s” muscle tone. For reasons they couldn’t explain, the muscles in her thighs seemed to be enlarging and gaining some strength. Her family agreed they should become more aggressive in their work with her and, by November, when Meri-Morgan put in one whirlwind morning of showcasing her skills with a visit to friends at The Messenger and then to her family physician, Dr. John Hale, she had proven she could move her legs and feet herself and take “steps” to explore her environment from an upright position. Leaning on an adult for stabilization and support, she discovered the great outdoors and was insistent on being a part of it at every opportunity. She began to sit alone and to reach for and sometimes bring food to her mouth. Hale, who could not explain the sudden increase in muscle mass and control, encouraged the Bowlings’ desire to find additional resources for their daughter. Grandmothers, friends, football family, church family at Union City First United Methodist Church and others lent their support and helped raise funds and manage the logistics and planning involved in getting Meri-Morgan, her mom and her nurse to the specialized therapy sessions offered in Michigan and to the hyperbaric therapy that had proven a good match for children utilizing Koscielny’s methods and specialized “suit.” The Tennessee threesome overcame snow drifts and frigid temperatures and unfamiliar surroundings for three weeks’ worth of hard work, supported by hope, in the north. “He (Koscielny) started immediately that first day. He didn’t even do an evaluation first,” recalls Dawn Bowling, who made the trip to Michigan in a brace with a fractured back herself. “He just started out the same way that first morning that he began every therapy session Meri-Morgan had: massage of her legs, feet, hands and arms with warm packs for about 30 minutes, then an hour’s worth of exercises done on the massage table in the “cage” or special unit he had devised to strengthen arm and leg muscles. From there, Koscielny put her through another 30 minutes of intense effort with other pieces of equipment and round bolsters designed to help her sit and stand repeatedly. The final hour would focus on balance exercises and included the introduction of a walker, which made its appearance on her fourth day in Michigan. “She was so proud of herself when she would finish her exercises. She had this desire. You could see it. She seemed to look forward to the last hour, because she wanted to stand so badly. That was her motivation,” her mother says. The sessions with Koscielny, who had patients from New York and Argentina and other remote places where word of his success had spread, lasted from 9 a.m.-noon each day. Then there was time for a quick lunch and an hour and a half drive to hyperbaric or oxygen therapy at 3 p.m. in another town. For the first 15 minutes of those sessions, Meri-Morgan went through “compression.” An hour of exposure to 100 percent oxygen followed, with a wrap up decompression session of another 15 minutes in the hyperbaric chamber. It was not Meri-Morgan’s favorite part of the day, but eventually she learned to relax enough in the chamber to drift off and enjoy much-needed naps. Then it was back to the motel near the Pediatric Fitness Center. The routine was exhausting, for everyone involved. But nobody complained. They drove through snow deeper than any they had ever seen and tramped through cold more intense than anything they had encountered and learned the routines that were making a difference and hoped for more. Every day. “Richard felt she was a fast learner,” Meri-Morgan’s mother says. “When he saw what she could do, he would devise new ways to push her to go further. By the third day, she was already catching on to what her part of the exercises were.” By Thursday of that first week, Koscielny mentioned that he was noticing changes in her vision. In his own family experience, the therapist and his wife had subjected their daughter with cerebral palsy to 40 “dives” in the hyperbaric chamber and had seen dramatic improvement in her sight — one of the most obvious changes observable in a fairly high percentage of children getting such therapy. At the time of their own experience, their child had been legally blind. Today, at 18 years old, she is able to drive. Mrs. Bowling and Ms. Northam had been alert to vision changes, as well, and had discussed it, hopefully, with each other. The therapist said the improvement in vision seemed to be going hand-in-hand with cognitive development and announced that it was “all coming together.” There were changes in Meri-Morgan’s life pharmacologically, as well. At the time they left for Michigan, she was taking 19 cc’s of chlorol hydrate to sleep each night. This routine had begun with a lower dose when she was 4 years old and the medication to help her rest had been gradually increased as she had weight gain. Her mother began decreasing the dosage when they arrived in Michigan and Meri-Morgan was initiated into her exhausting round of activities. By the time they returned home, she was no longer sedated at night.
“It’s amazing the difference in her mornings. Instead of being still sedated when we have to get her up, she wakes up laughing and smiling,” Dawn Bowling says. She had also been on medication to treat seizures three times each day: 4 cc’s of Tegretol. Now the only dosage she takes is at night. “Our goal is to be medicine-free. We think the oxygen therapy may have been a real boost there and we’re trying to keep on working down the dosage.” All in all, the three intensive weeks resulted in hopes realized to an amazing degree:
• A decrease in medication.
• Increased strengthening of her large muscles: The first day of therapy, she could lift two pounds on each leg. Three weeks later, the load had increased to 16. The Bowlings also came home with an exercise cage like the one Meri-Morgan was using in Michigan and all the accessories, plus specially prescribed three-hour-a-day workout routines that mimic the work she did at the center.
“I’ve told Jackie she can’t be a sweet ‘grandma’ to Meri-Morgan any more. She knows the routine, so she has to be the drill sergeant five days a week,” Dawn Bowling laughs.
• Better hand-eye coordination: Meri-Morgan picks up numerous foods from her wheelchair tray now and has been known to reach across a restaurant table mischievously and snag a favorite item from her mother’s plate that she successfully conveys to her own mouth.
• Much-improved tracking: She is able to make eye contact and follow movement both of the people she loves and of interesting strangers, as well.
This latter ability was an excellent surprise, both for her father, who noticed as soon as he walked through the door of the motel lobby where his wife and daughter were staying in Michigan that Meri-Morgan had picked him out and was eyeing his progress across the lobby with great interest; for her brother, Chase, whose joyous announcement to his mother, “She looked at me,” was made as soon as they arrived home; and to her grandmother, who boasts that she “looks at her” 20 times a day. “We’re all carried away with the way she makes eye contact,” Dawn Bowling says. And that was true even before the latest ray of hope dawned.
An eye on the future
With help from Koscielny, the Bowlings were able to manage an appointment with one of the five preeminent pediatric ophthalmologists in the U.S. They traveled to St. Louis last week for a check-up. Dr. Lawrence Tychsen, who is on staff at Children’s Hospital there, diagnosed her major vision problem as Strabismus, which causes double vision. He plans an hour’s worth of surgery Tuesday to correct the condition. She also has slight astigmatism. During Tuesday’s surgery, Tychsen plans to evaluate her chances for success with laser surgery for that condition. If he believes he can help her, the second surgery will take place in about three months, following a 12-week healing process. Mrs. Bowling says Tychsen showed her a “picture” that revealed the way the world was shaping up for Meri-Morgan because of her double vision. “I got nauseated when I had to look at what she has been seeing all this time,” she says. “We are so excited,” she added after the family returned from their first trip to St. Louis and as they prepared to depart yet again for the eye surgery. “We are going down on Monday (today) and Dr. Tychsen will be doing the surgery Tuesday morning and then we’ll come home. There will be a lot of stitches inside her eyes, but they will all dissolve by themselves. We are just so excited and so grateful to everyone. We can’t say thank you enough for the support and prayers from our church and the Character Builder’s Sunday School Class there (who prepared a pre-Christmas fish fry meal as a fundraiser to help with the Michigan trip expenses). Those who came to that luncheon meant so much to us and there aren’t enough words for Patti Barnes and Lou Anne White, who headed it all up. I’ve had so many people stop me and ask me if I am Meri-Morgan’s mom. They tell me they are praying for us. Please keep on, I say. Just please keep on.”
‘Mama’ and ‘Dada’ delighted Samburg youngster’s progress ‘amazing’
March 9, 2009 by CHRIS MENEES
It’s not likely Kristi (Roberson) Hogg of Samburg will ever forget what 8-year-old daughter Mayci gave her last Christmas. About two weeks before Christmas, she said “Mama.” “I got my ‘mama.’ That was my Christmas present,” Mrs. Hogg said. Mayci, the daughter of Mrs. Hogg and her husband, Richard Hogg, was born with a rare mitochondrial disorder that filled the first years of her young life with doctor visits, numerous medications and little hope for the future. As a result, Mayci had low vision, could not walk or talk and was unable to communicate with her family. She had treatment for cataracts and a severe seizure disorder that had worsened, had a feeding tube placed and had many hospital visits because of viral infections and other types of sickness. However, Mayci and her family received hope in June 2008 in the form of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), which she began receiving at the state-of-the-art Integrative Hyperbaric Center — known as “A Place of Grace” — in Wisconsin. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a specialized therapy that uses an increase in atmospheric pressure to allow the body to incorporate more oxygen into blood cells, blood plasma, cerebral-spinal fluid and other body fluids. After receiving her initial therapy at the Wisconsin facility, Mayci returned home and continued her HBOT regimen in a special portable home chamber. She is scheduled to return to the Wisconsin clinic for some in-house treatment that will begin March 16 and continue through April 10. Since beginning HBOT, Mayci’s progress has been amazing, according to Mrs. Hogg. “She’s still seizure-free and her vision has improved to the point where she’s starting to watch TV,” she told The Messenger Friday. “She was only tracking things that were lighted and now she can see my finger and track completely right to left. She’s seeing birds in the yard and watching them fly. We know she’s got a depth perception of 20 to 25 feet.” Plus, Mayci is starting to verbalize — a remarkable achievement the Hoggs realized when she first said “Mama” in mid-December. Mrs. Hogg said Mayci has also said “dada,” much to the delight of her husband, as well as “bird,” “bear,” “hi,” “duck” and “ball.” She has gained nine pounds since last September — although Mrs. Hogg said she needs to gain about 20 more — and is doing well with a new gluten-free, casein-free diet and a regimen of vitamins and minerals. Mayci’s energy level has improved, which means she no longer takes three or four naps a day and is able to stay up longer to play or do therapy. Throughout the day, she does about an hour’s worth of hyperbarics, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and vision therapy. Keeping up with Mayci: Mrs. Hogg said Mayci’s West Tennessee Cares Web site — www.westtennesseecares.org — is still up and running so the community can continue to track Mayci’s progress through video, photos and journal posts from Mrs. Hogg. It includes a link to a CaringBridge site that allows visitors to sign a guest book and stay in personal contact with the family. “We’ve had over 40,000 visitors,” Mrs. Hogg said. “We’ve also started a Facebook cause and have a Facebook page. You can type in a cause and type in Mayci’s Miracle Fund. We’ve gotten over 1,000 members within three weeks.” Fund-raising efforts are also continuing, with some events to be scheduled this summer, and Mayci’s Miracle Fund T-shirts are still available through the Web site. Mrs. Hogg said the family would appreciate any help with fundraising efforts from area businesses or church groups. “Our family wants to thank everybody in the community,” Mrs. Hogg said. “Richard and I, our whole entire family, thank everybody who has still asked about Mayci and shown support. Please pray for us while we’re gone and continue to show support.”
Damaged Brain Cells Brought Back To Life!
Apr 01, 2009
PRLog (Press Release) –– North Miami Beach, Florida: John Giordano – President and Founder of G & G Holistic Addiction Treatment Center and co-founder Jerry Goldfarb – believe Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, or HBOT as it’s known in the medical industry, is the new paradigm in repairing damaged brain cells due to long-term drug and/or alcohol use. G & G Holistic Addiction Treatment Center is one of only a few addiction treatment facilities in the world to make Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy available to its clients. Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process. The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas. John Giordano first saw the potential in HBOT when he came to learn that large doses of oxygen can improve brain functions – thus helping a person who has damaged their brain by abusing drugs and/or alcohol over extended periods of time. Although HBOT has only recently become available to his clients, Mr. Giordano is very encouraged by what he has seen. “After just a few treatments, my clients tell me they have much more clarity in thought and find that they’re much more alert” says Giordano. “Physically, the change is palpable – their skin color comes back almost immediately, their overall look is healthier and the swagger is back in their step.” Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is recognized by most as the cure for decompression sickness — the bends — experienced by scuba divers who surface too quickly. However, doctors and researchers both agree that we’ve only scratched the surface of full healing potential of HBOT. There are currently 13 conditions treatable with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy that are approved by the FDA in the US. Additionally, the therapy has shown great promise in the ‘off-label’ treatment of a myriad of diseases and injuries such as: brain trauma, stroke, cancer, sports injuries, migraines, depression, multiple sclerosis, autism, cerebral palsy and senility to name just a mere few. The treatment itself is painless and non-invasive. It involves the patient sitting or reclining in a pressurized chamber with levels of oxygen up to 100% for anywhere between one and three hours. The protocols developed by Giordano are firmly based in the successful results of Dr. Paul G. Harch’s research. Harsh is considered to be the world’s foremost expert on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and author of “The Oxygen Revolution.” Dr. Harch’s findings provided the indisputable empirical data that clearly demonstrates the damaged brain cell repairing and rejuvenation qualities of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. The results of his work have been published in the leading peer review medical journals. Mr. Giordano is gifted in the respect that he has the ability to see the new, cutting-edge protocols of the future through the blinding fog all of those currently considered experimental. Over twenty-years ago John was instrumental and played a major role in ushering the holistic element into traditional addiction treatment protocols. Today he feels the same confidence in HBOT that he felt for Holistic back in the day. He believes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy will become a standard at addiction treatment facilities worldwide in the very near future. The affable Giordano will entertain your audience while educating them. John is an A-List media pro and a regular on Miami TV and radio stations. He has been a guest on countless national radio and TV shows including: CBS Evening News With Katie Couric, FOX Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, A&E “Interventions,” Geraldo and CNN Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. CREDENTIALS: John Giordano is the president and founder of the prestigious G & G Holistic Addiction Treatment Center he started over twenty years ago. He is the proud recipient of a Doctor Of Human Letters from Sinai University in Jerusalem and a Chaplain at the North Miami Beach Police Department. Giordano is a recovering addict with twenty-four years of sobriety to his credit. Mr. Giordano is a therapist, Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), Certified Professional Hypnotherapist, a Master Addictions Counselor (MAC), and a Certified Criminal Justice Specialist (CCJS). Mr. Giordano also earned a Masters Certification in Neurolinguistics Programming (NLP), and is a Certified Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Specialist. He is a professional expert witness for the state and federal government. John is a Karate Grand Master 10th degree black belt and is in the Karate Hall Of Fame. Mr. Giordano’s acclaimed new book: “Proven Holistic Treatment For Addiction & Chronic Relapse,” (Tate Publishing 2007 ISBN: 1-5988637-5-4) is being utilized by several state hospitals and a number of treatment centers across the country. G & G Holistic Addiction Treatment Center, the facility Mr. Giordano founded over twenty-years ago, is a 62 bed in-patient/out-patient JACHO accredited addiction treatment center. Mr. Giordano’s Website: www.holisticdrugrehab.co
Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Dec 1, 2008 by Paul Fitzgerald
My husband suffered strokes in August 2006 that resulted in total loss of short-term memory, slurred speech, and difficulty walking. The doctors stated he might never recover, and if he did it would take at least two years. Now, after only two months of hyperbaric therapy his memory is back, and his speech and walking are normal. His energy has improved. Conditions that harm the brain have a wide reach. Whether from a stroke (vascular accident) or a traumatic brain injury, the results impair the whole family. The loss, or potential loss, of hopes, dreams, and expected joys and accomplishments is a loss suffered by all of those who care. Brain damage has a wide reach; it damages the whole family. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is not a cure but it can often help. Following is a MUST SEE video from the Montel Williams Show. Even though science now knows better, the “old-school” idea still often remains: that once an area of the brain has been damaged by a stroke, TBI (traumatic brain injury), or near drowning, that nothing or very little can be done to restore the function of that area. Current scientific research has demonstrated that while the core-area of the damaged brain tissue might be irreversibly damaged, there is an area surrounding this tissue that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can restore and these neurons (brain/nerve cells) can re-establish their function. The majority of tia, stroke and brain injuries are caused by blood vessel obstructions, such as a blood clot, that cuts off blood flow and oxygen to parts of the brain. This results in the death of nerve cells within a very short time. These dying brain cells begin to swell due to their cell walls breaking down, allowing fluid to move into the cells. As these cells swell, they start to expand into the surrounding tissues. This causes constriction of the blood vessels in the surrounding tissues, which then causes a lack of oxygen to these previously normal cells. These surrounding cells then start to swell as well. This gradually increasing, damaged, hypoxic tissue surrounding the original injury is called the “ischemic penumbra,” and contributes up to 85% of the disability resulting from a stroke. The cells in this secondary area have the potential of being restored to near-normal, and sometimes normal function. The neuroscientist Dr. Cyril B. Courville wrote, “crippled nerve cells may persist in the margins of wounds of the brain for many years.” Astrup, Siesjo and Symon suggested that within these damaged margins, idling neurons are present. They are metabolically lethargic and are non-functional, because of low oxygen levels and secondary damage. But they remain viable and are subject to being revived with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Proof of this dormant life of the brain’s cells has been demonstrated with the use of SPECT brain scans done before and after a series of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In the journal Stroke, Dr. Richard Neubauer, a pioneer in the use of this therapy for treating various neurological diseases, reported outstanding results in a group of 122 stoke patients treated with HBOT. In one case, significant functional improvement was noted when Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was used 14 years after the initial stroke. These studies by Dr. Richard Neubauer conclusively demonstrate the development of new blood vessels to the rim of tissue surrounding the area of the brain that had been damaged. These newly formed blood vessels resulting from the hyperbaric oxygen therapy can then bring fresh blood (oxygen) and nutrients to the damaged tissue. The tissue begins to repair itself and returns to normal or near-normal. These “resuscitated” neurons gradually reconnect to the rest of the brain. These revived neurons and their connections help to return the use of lost cerebral and bodily functions. Hyperbaric therapy does not resurrect dead brain tissue, but it can facilitate the functioning of those dormant, idling nerve cells that have suffered secondary damage by stroke due to diminished oxygen. Oftentimes, the brain area suffering secondary damage is a more massive part of the brain than that which suffered the primary damage. This area of secondary damage to the brain (the ischemic penumbra) is the area that HBOT helps. Improvements have been achieved, gains have been made, even with patients who are more than a decade post-stroke. Note: TIA: Transient Ischemic Attack, is a “mini stroke”, or “warning stroke” that often produces mild stroke-like symptoms but usually no lasting damage. A TIA is often a forecast of a full-fledged stroke on the horizon, which makes this a good indicator for beginning this therapy. Day after day, patients are overcoming the bleak forecasts about recovery from their stroke or traumatic brain injury, using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Family finds hope in treatment for rare disease
12/16/2008 by: Maria G. O’Donnell
Something just wasn’t right with their baby, but no doctor would believe Avon residents Tom and Melissa Young. Melissa, the mother of 19-month-old Matthew, knew her son wasn’t developing similarly to her daughters, Hannah, first grade, and Sydney, age 4. Yet, little did she know he had a terminal illness. Matthew’s hair, which should have been silky fine, was kinky and steely colored instead. He was pale, not moving easily, and had episodes of apnea. According to his mom, at age 7 months, Matthew was taken to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and observed for three days. He was diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a non-lethal, respiratory illness in young children, and sent home to rest and use a nebulizer as needed. Still, at 9 months, even his pediatrician couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the baby who hadn’t shown increase in weight, growth and head size since his last appointment. The doctor figured he was developmentally delayed. The pediatrician sent Matthew to a genetic doctor who ordered a blood test. “Matthew was so weak, he drew the blood from his leg,” instead of his arm, said Young. The test result showed that the baby had Menkes disease, a genetic disorder that strikes one in 300,000, with the victim unable to survive beyond the first decade of life. There is no history of the illness in the Young family. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke web site, “Menkes disease is caused by a defective gene that regulates the metabolism of copper in the body. The disease primarily affects male infants. Copper accumulates at abnormally low levels in the liver and brain, but at higher than normal levels in the kidney and intestinal lining. Affected infants may be born prematurely, but appear healthy at birth and develop normally for six to eight weeks. Then symptoms begin, including floppy muscle tone, seizures, and failure to thrive. Menkes disease is also characterized by subnormal body temperature and strikingly peculiar hair, which is kinky, colorless or steel-colored, and breaks easily.” Because Matthew has never had a seizure, which is very common with the disease, his symptoms hadn’t been taken seriously enough. “The (genetic) doctor said it was a lost cause and to call hospice,” Young said, adding that she felt “trapped in my own home. I shut down for a couple weeks. Then I decided, just because doctors said don’t try, I wanted to.” Her tone was strong, positive and determined. No matter where she turned, the doors kept closing on her because of the extreme rarity of the disease and the lack of research available in order to treat it. She flew out to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., and contacted St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. But for one reason or another, from “there’s nothing we can do” to not being able to treat the specific disease, “they wrote him off,” Young said, because “he already had neurological demise.” She was incredulous. “It was devastating, horrible; it sucked me dry. There was no plan – does he need brain surgery? Heart surgery? When you’re holding your baby in your arms, don’t tell me he’s going to die of a disease you can’t do anything about.” Since traditional medicine appeared to be failing, the Youngs went alternative. In addition to physical and occupational therapies, speech and special ed, they’ve tried Reiki, massage, naturopathic and chiropractic treatments. Matthew took multiple nutritional supplements, including vitamin B12 and copper injections, multi-vitamins and minerals. Miraculously, his Menkes disease symptoms began to reverse. According to Young, “Now he’s smiling and laughing, he can hold up his head, he’s reaching for things, he’s alert, and brown hair is coming in. He used to be a bag of bones, but he’s starting to sit up now. I refused a G-tube (feeding tube). I still mouth feed him.”
Alternative therapy sparks improvements in toddler
MENOMONIE – Andrew and Lisa Wagner are ecstatic when their 16-month-old son, Elijah, cries or throws a tempter tantrum. “We rejoice because we didn’t know if he would ever do that,” Lisa Wagner said. “It was two weeks after he was born until we heard him cry. “Everybody takes a lot of stuff for granted – like breathing, swallowing and crying.” Deprived of oxygen at birth, Elijah spent his first 21 days of life in the hospital. He has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, developmental delay, secondary microcephaly – or small head circumference – and cortical vision impairment. His prognosis at birth was not promising, and the family still doesn’t know what his future holds. But Elijah is a fighter. He breathes and swallows on his own, sits unassisted, is crawling and can stand and walk with assistance. “It’s a wait-and-see. We don’t know to what level he will be impacted by disabilities or developmental delay,” Andrew Wagner said. The Wagners are Menomonie natives who live in Elk River, Minn. They graduated from Menomonie High School in 2000 and both earned degrees at UW-Stout in Menomonie. Elijah’s grandparents are John and Teri Wagner and Dennis and Kathy Lausted, all of Menomonie. His great-grandmother is Joyce Marine, also of Menomonie. To help maximize Elijah’s development, Andrew and Lisa Wagner have conducted research and have provided their son with standard and alternative therapies. He sees occupational, physical and vision therapists. Plus they are trying an alternative therapy called hyperbaric oxygen therapy. With HBOT, which is not covered by insurance, patients go in a chamber that increases atmospheric pressure to that of 16 feet below water. They breathe through a mask with 100 percent oxygen. The goal is to create capillary growth in the brain and new blood vessels, Andrew Wagner said. After 40 sessions in September, the Wagners said they saw physical and cognitive changes in their son. “His vision improved,” said Andrew Wagner, 26. “He seems to focus better in the here and now and less in his own world. He is able to move better with less muscle tightness.” Lisa Wagner agreed. “To me it just seemed he had a better awareness,” she said. “We had the same child, but we had a lot more of him. He had a longer attention span. It just seemed his vision and movement improved.” The family hopes to complete another 40 sessions starting in March. Andrew Wagner said dealing with his son’s illness has been difficult, but family and friends have been supportive. “It’s really given me faith. I can’t change this. It’s really brought us closer to God, family and friends,” he said. To read a blog by Lisa Wagner about Elijah’s progress, go to www.elijahland.com. Powers can be reached at 715-235-9018 or pamela. email@example.com. Elijah Fund A fund has been set up to help Andrew and Lisa Wagner with Elijah’s treatment expenses that aren’t covered by insurance. Donations may be sent to The Elijah Wagner Benefit Fund, c/o TCF Bank, 19270 Freeport St. NW, Elk River, MN 55330