Hyperbaric oxygen ameliorates worsening signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
Benjamin Eovaldi1, Claude Zanetti2
1Department of Medicine, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA; 2Department of Hyperbaric Medicine, Swedish Covent Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA
Abstract: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 2.4 atmospheric pressure absolutes for 90 minutes per day ameliorated the signs and symptoms of agitation, confusion, and emotional distress in a 27-year-old male seven days following a traumatic accident. Hyperbaric oxygen was used to treat the patient's crush injury and underlying nondisplaced pelvic fractures which were sustained in a bicycle versus automobile traffic accident. Its effect on the patient's neuropsychiatric symptoms was surprising and obvious immediately following the initial hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Complete cognitive and psychiatric recovery was achieved by the seventh and final hyperbaric oxygen treatment. We propose that hyperbaric oxygen was effective in improving the patient's neuropsychiatric symptoms by reducing cerebral oxidative stress, inflammation, vasogenic edema, and hippocampal neuronal apoptosis. Further investigation into the use of hyperbaric oxygen as a novel therapy for the secondary prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder that often accompanies postconcussive syndrome may be warranted. We acknowledge that hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to have a strong placebo effect on neurologic and psychiatric diseases.
Keywords: hyperbaric oxygen, post-traumatic stress disorder, neuropsychiatric, acute stress disorder
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