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A Phase I Study of Low Pressure Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Blast-Induced Post Concussion Syndrome Post Traumatic Stress

A Phase I Study of Low Pressure Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for

Blast-Induced Post Concussion Syndrome and

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Harch P, Andrews SR, Fogarty E, Amen DG, Pezzullo JC, Lucarini J, Aubrey C, Taylor DV, Staab P, Van Meter K.


Louisians State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Medicine, 1816 Industrial Blvd, Harvey, Louisiana, United States, 70058, 504-366-1445, 504-366-1029;

This is a preliminary report on the safety and efficacy of 1.5 ATA HBOT in military subjects with chronic blast-induced mild-moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI)/post-concussion syndrome (PCS) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Method: 16 military subjects received forty 1.5 ATA/60 minute HBOTs in 30 days. 

Symptoms, physical and neurological exams, SPECT brain imaging, neuropsychological and psychological testing were completed before and within one week after treatment.



  • subjects experienced reversible middle ear barotrauma (5)
  • transient deterioration in symptoms (4),
  • and reversible bronchospasm (1); one subject withdrew.


Post treatment testing demonstrated significant improvement in:

  • symptoms, neurological exam,
  • Full scale IQ (+14.8 points; p<.001),
  • WMS IV Delayed Memory (p=.026),
  • WMS-IV Working Memory (p=.003),  
  • Stroop Test (p,<.001),
  • TOVA Impulsivity (p=.041),
  • TOVA Variability (p=.045),
  • Grooved Pegboard (p=.028),
  • PCS symptoms (Rivermead PCSQ: p=.0002),
  • PTSD symptoms  (PCL-M: p<.001),
  • Depression (PHQ-9: p<.001),
  • Anxiety (GAD-7: p=.007),
  • quality of  life (MPQoL: p=.003),
  • and self-report of percent of normal (p<.001),
  • SPECT coefficient of variation in all white matter and some gray matter ROIs after the first HBOT,
  • and in half of white matter ROIs after 40 HBOTs,
  • and SPECT statistical parametric mapping analysis (diffuse improvements in regional cerebral blood flow after 1 and 40 HBOTs).



  • Forty 1.5 ATA HBOTs in one month was safe in a military cohort with chronic blast-induced PCS and PTSD. Significant improvements occurred in symptoms, abnormal physical exam findings, cognitive testing, and quality of life measurements, with concomitant significant improvements in SPECT.


A full report may be obtained from (see link below).

PMID: 22026588  [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


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