Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why does HBOT and intensive pediatric therapy work so well together?

"Plasticity is one of the most important mechanisms of brain repair and involves the redirection and reeducation of neurons to make new pathways to learn and improve both cognitive and motor skills. Following any brain insult there is a period of plasticity while the brain and body compensate and attempt to overcome and rewire their connections to learn to take over the tasks of the damaged neurons. In children, plasticity is ongoing, as the brain is in development and still growing new brain cells. Just as babies need to be taught to walk and talk, newly awakened neurons need to be redirected and retrained. HBOT, the safe, non-invasive use of 100% oxygen under greater than atmospheric pressure, has been clearly proven to reactivate and facilitate dormant, idling, damaged neurons that had been receiving enough oxygen to exist but not enough to function or fire electrically. The reactivation of these cells with HBOT opens up whole new areas of plasticity so that the brain is able to learn or relearn the skills that are necessary for proper function of both the brain, as it relates to cognitive function, and the body as the brain makes new connections for recovery of trunk, limb and muscle movement. New neurons are like newborn babies. They need direction for their optimal growth and development. This is why a multi-disciplinary approach to brain injury in cerebral palsy and the brain injured child is so crucial to the outcome. The sooner the new neurons can be redirected to take on the tasks of the damaged areas the more promising the prognosis. It is the intensive therapy and strength training that redirect the brain cells when they are reactivated by HBOT to form the necessary pathways for functional recovery. The synergy of the two approaches combined demonstrates a good and positive outcome for the child."
-from The Synergy of Body/Brain Repair by Virginia Neubauer

We are planning to complete another 40 sessions of HBOT coupled with intensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy over the course of a very busy month! Our schedule will look something like this:

  • HBOT session (60 minutes at 1.5 atmospheres, ~30 minutes to pressurize/depressurize)
  • Intensive PT, OT and Speech (4 hours)
  • HBOT session (60 minutes at 1.5 atmospheres, ~30 minutes to pressurize/depressurize)

This is 7 hours of therapy every weekday for a month!

It will make for very busy days, but hopefully our son will recover even more function by coupling intensive pediatric therapy with HBOT.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for commenting on my blog about your experiences with HBOT. i really want to try it for our son, but i can't understand how do it because it's so frequent. my husband and i both work full time, it's hard enough to make the 3X week PT/OT appts. dunno how we're gonna figure that one out...