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What is the Safest Way to Treat a Brain Injury?

“It’s amazing where I am now, compared to where I’ve come from,” says Anthony Davis, the former running back whose USC career earned him induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. “It’s scary what my head used to be like.”

Davis played five years professionally, including two in the NFL. He says he’s “one of the lucky ones” because he had only two diagnosed concussions. Even so, when Davis first came to Amen Clinics, he was 54-years-old with a brain that looked like that of an 85-year-old.

Today, Davis says, “I feel like a new person, a new man,” in large part to undergoing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as part of a comprehensive brain rehabilitation program.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) involves breathing oxygen in a pressurized chamber (there are hard and soft chambers) in which the atmospheric pressure is raised up to three times higher than normal. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather up to three times more oxygen than would be possible breathing oxygen at normal air pressure.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy works as its name implies – hyper (more of) and baric (pressure) – and that is exactly how it works. It is the increased pressure of the gas we breathe every day that can signal the DNA in our cells to perform healing tasks that the body normally can’t do.

Having been used for decades among scuba divers to re-introduce them to standard atmospheric pressure, today HBOT is finding many uses in the medical and mental health professions.

The Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

HBOT improves the quality of life for people dealing with a variety of issues, especially when standard medicine is not working.

Often, healing is inhibited by a restriction of blood flow to the injured part of the body. Healing is promoted by maximizing the amount of oxygen in the blood that can reach the injured area.

It has long been known that healing cannot take place in many areas of the body without appropriate oxygen levels in the tissue. HBOT provides this extra oxygen naturally and with minimal side effects.

HBOT benefits a variety of conditions in multiple ways including speeding healing, boosting the immune system, decreasing inflammation, killing bacteria, and helping the body build new connective tissue.

Most excitingly, HBOT can bring an injured brain back on line by improving the function of the cell’s energy centers – the mitochondria. It’s like bringing your car’s misfiring pistons back into proper timing. It’s all about energy and if your brain has the energy it needs to function better, everything gets better!

HBOT can be used to treat conditions which benefit from more oxygen being available in the tissues. HBOT has been used successfully to improve many conditions including, but not limited to:

HBOT is perhaps the safest procedure in medicine at the pressures used to treat brain injuries.

As for Anthony Davis, he considers it a lifesaver and says that after following HBOT, he had more energy, better focus, improved comprehension, and overall felt more relaxed.

At Amen Clinics, we have spent decades helping people treat their brain and can help you, too. Call us today at (888) 288-9834 or visit our website to learn more about whether HBOT is right for you or to schedule an appointment.

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COMMENTS

  1. KarenRG says:

    I own a home hyperbaric chamber and I sleep in it every other night. I’m healing from a very serious brain injury.

  2. Chris Caldwell says:

    Hey Karen, do you mind sharing what type of Hyperbaric chamber you have? I was thinking of getting one as going to one out of town for 40 to 80 visits is nearly impossible and unaffordable. Thanks.

    • Mary Beth Underwood says:

      I’ve had 146 HBOT dives and it’s well worth the travel hassles. Mercy Medical Angels provided my flights plus covered someone to travel with me to assist me. I was in the LSU TBI study in NOLA that is still ongoing with a few spots left. HBOTTBIstudy.org Hertz gave me a charitable rental pricing. I stayed in a convent for lodging and meals there. I fundraised for the trips. It’s not impossible nor entirely unaffordable. You need to think outside the box to get what you need. Make sure to have an actual medical doctor advising you and monitoring you if you get a home chamber. A soft side chamber is not the same as the hard side chambers as in the HBOT clinics. Also Patriot Clinics, Inc in OKC provides free HBOT treatments to ALL. Find them on FB for their most current contact information. Dr Bill Duncan is the founder. He was a patient of Dr Harch’s too. Check out the pricing to stay at Woodbridge Suites which is only about six miles from the clinic. It was quite affordable for us. You have a kitchen to use to cook meals. No oven but microwave, full fridge, sink, and stovetop. It was decent to stay at for almost a month we were there. Homewood Suites is a bit more expensive but some meals are actually provided and they’re quite nice.
      Also, your health insurance should cover the SPECT brain scans that are very good to have to find out the extent of your brain injuries if that’s what you’re needing it for. It proved mine and it helps the doctors fine tune the HBOT protocol for you as an individual. I had multiple TBIs and concussions with persistent post concussion syndrome since July 2005.

      • Orya Amit says:

        Words of wisdom. Thanks and god bless u

      • Chris Caldwell says:

        Mary Beth, Thanks so much for the information. I am in Texas. Money is definitely a concern, but I don’t want it to prevent me from getting help. Can you tell me how many dives you can do in one day? I guess what I am asking is how quickly can you do 40 to 80 dives? Is it one per day, m- f? Any other info on treatment, timeframe, costs, etc would be greatly appreciate. God Bless.

        • Mary Beth Underwood says:

          I know in the first 40 dives many are able to do two per day. In the second 40 one per day. And yes M-F for the most part. Patriot Clinics was six days per week when I was there. And I just found out they are reopening on May 1st. So closed right now.
          You could look on the International Hyperbaric Medical Association website for other clinic locations too.
          Check out HBOTTBIstudy.org to see if you would qualify for that in NOLA. In this study you’d have one dive per day M-F.

        • Mary Beth Underwood says:

          Contact Melisa Kuehn at 281-809-7300 in Houston regarding HBOT options there. A friend of mine from NOLA had her son get HBOT treatments through her.

  3. Mary Beth Underwood says:

    And this is for AmenClinics – Dr. Daniel Amen: Thank you for all you’re doing to help us that have been suffering from brain injuries and other brain health conditions and dealing with the daily struggles. My local internist Dr. Jose Angel in Des Moines, IA suggested I check out what you offered for brain injury treatments after trying many pharmaceutical meds to help with alleviation of symptoms, mostly the ongoing fatigue which seems to trigger the rest. I just ended up getting the serious side effects consistently after awhile. That’s how I found out about the HBOT treatments after speaking with one of your coordinators in CA. That’s how I found Dr Harch and was accepted into his LSU TBI study and am still healing and progressing today. Thank you!!! And my family thanks you, three generations worth. You are making a difference!

  4. Paula Shimp says:

    Hello Dr. Amen,

    I have been diagnosed with a profound oxygen uptake disorder suspected of being one of the inherited mitochondrial diseases. What brain scan anomalies are associated with mitochondrial disease? I had an MRI, with normal results. I am concerned that something was overlooked, given my episodes of cognitive impairment and non-correlated episodes of low mood.

    Can you recommend any reading material, or research groups, investigating the brain scans of people diagnosed with mitochondrial disease?

    Thank you

  5. Colleen Spivey says:

    Hello Dr Amen. I have been following you for years. My daughter had brain surgery last year. She started with a terrible headache on a Monday. I took her to a doctor who said it was a migraine and sent us home. It continued to worsen accompanied with vomiting. I was able to get her in to her doctor on that Thursday. She sent us to the ER. CT scan showed a very large abscess that was causing midline shift. Emergency surgery was done but the ID doctor was baffled bc the bacteria that was found was Eikenella. Very few cases of this are recorded worldwide. I don’t believe there are any cases in healthy children. Have you ever seen this happen before? Do I need to worry about reoccurrence? The ID doctor says know, but a neurologist that I know says yes and that she is more susceptible. Thank you for reading. I pray you will respond bc I have been researching this for a year but there is little information about it. My daughter has never had sinus problems bf but they say that she had acute sinusitis. They just can’t explain the Eikenella. She recently had braces put on. If that is it though, why and how did it travel to her brain. Thank you.

  6. Donna Crowley says:

    @Colleen Spivey – You can try contacting the men clinic directly by calling the closest location to you (Location tab above) to get help. Or use the ” Have a Question?” tab on the lower right side of this page. I think this comment section not monitored frequently.
    Good luck & wishing your daughter increasingly better health.

  7. Dave Siever says:

    I have tremendous respect for those such as Amen Clinics for their drive for resolving some of the most debilitating mental health issues, such as concussion. I have been brain-mapping and treating Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) for many years and have come to realize that TBI comes in a variety of flavors, but two types really stand out. These are cortical injuries, which presents as brain wave slowing and the thalamocortical disconnect (TCD) type (which I lectured to Amen Clinics on last year).

    The TCD type is the most elusive and painful to the inflicted as it manifests itself as generalized anxiety, OCD and a severe sleep disorder, with most people averaging 3-4 hours of poor sleep/night. This in turn spins into Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or Alzheimer’s Disease and perhaps even MS. The worst of it is that it appears to be caused by inflammation and so may be caused from a viral infection such as flu, Lyme and so on, so the inflicted have NO idea as to why they are falling to pieces. Those with a TCD struggle with making decisions and managing their emotions. They often begin abusing alcohol, marijuana and prescription meds as they are desperate for any peace of mind that they can have.
    A few of my clients have been on hyperbaric oxygen and have benefitted little from it. I had a client who was 5 years post motor-vehicle accident, unemployable, here house was a mess, she struggled with vertigo and vision issues. She couldn’t make decisions and obsessed on body issues and pain since the accident (OCD is a symptom of this type of TBI. she had been on hyperbaric oxygen for 4-month with little benefit. I brain-mapped her and then she went to her HBOxy treatment with the EEG cap on her head. When she returned, I remapped her and the changes were marginal. I then put her on audio-visual entrainment (which the Amen Clinics also use) and the results were dramatic. Her SCL-90R results went from a score of 80 (norm is 50) to 10, just in 3-weeks. she improved so much that she returned to work in a months time and now is also working on her Masters degree. Another client who was debilitated for 20 years went and got her Ph.D. The results using with using AVE on this debilitating type of TBI is so profound.

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