The body normally delivers oxygen to the tissues by the red blood cells in the blood. But by breathing oxygen under pressure (Hyperbaric oxygen therapy) oxygen is dissolved into all the bodily fluids, thus the cerebral fluid, spinal fluid, lymph fluid, intracellular fluid and the blood plasma all absorb high levels of oxygen. This increases oxygen levels to all the body tissue including areas with poor or compromised blood supply.
Increasing tissue oxygen levels produces important therapeutic benefits for Autism including:
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) provides an optimal environment to assist in the regeneration of brain tissue. The therapy increases cerebral blood flow increasing the oxygen delivered to the brain, which is thought to be oxygen deficient. The increased oxygen stimulates cerebral tissue and reduces excess fluids and swelling in brain which aids neurological function.
- Studies support the notion that some individuals with Autism manifest neuro-inflammation, immune dysregulation and/or gastrointestinal inflammation. Treatment with HBOT have potent anti-inflammatory properties and the benefits of reducing inflammation via hyperbaric oxygen therapy are immediate, as well as long term. Reduced inflammation increases healing, reduces pain, increases function of cells and tissue and improves the immune system.
- Research has implicated mitochondrial dysfunction in Autism. Mitochondria are the organelles that generate energy for the cell, they are found in every cell of the human body (except red blood cells) and convert the energy of food molecules into the energy that powers most cell functions. Studies have reported improvements in mitochondrial function leading to a recent increase in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as a treatment.
- Multiple studies have reported evidence of oxidative stress in children with Autism. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen and are formed as a natural byproduct of the normal metabolism of oxygen and have important roles in cell signaling and homeostasis. However, during times of environmental stress, these ROS levels can increase dramatically. This may result in significant damage to cell structures which is known as oxidative stress. HBOT has been shown to up-regulate the production of antioxidant enzymes. This increase in antioxidant enzyme levels can protect against damage caused by ROS.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy assists in the metabolism of heavy metal removal and is used as a complementary therapy for the treatment of heavy metal detox. It is often used in conjunction with other detox procedures to help support the body to deal with the impact commonly seen in the removal of heavy metals, mercury, toxins, and other contaminants.
Health Canada recognizes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for 13 different medical conditions but the therapy is used for many more ranging from stroke recovery, circulatory disorders, heart disease, infections and all forms of healing. All conditions have one thing in common: the affected areas are not getting enough life-sustaining oxygen.