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Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBO2) Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program

The U. S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity is leading an effort to determine if hyperbaric oxygen is of benefit in the treatment of chronic symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-concussion syndrome (PCS).

What is a Concussion/mTBI?

  • A concussion is a head injury from a hit, blow, or blast wave to the head that briefly knocks you out (loss of consciousness), or makes you feel confused or "see stars" (alteration of change in consciousness).
  • Immediately or soon after the concussion, you may have disorientation, headaches, dizziness, balance difficulties, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, irritability, temporary gaps in your memory, sleep problems, or attention and concentration problems.

HBO2 Chamber

Hyperbaric oxygen is defined as the administration of oxygen in a chamber at greater than sea-level atmospheric pressure in which oxygen becomes increasingly dissolved in the blood which results in greater than normal every day oxygen tension in cells and tissues in the body. There is some compelling anecdotal evidence to suggest that this may be beneficial in the treatment of acute and chronic symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury. Stronger evidence including sham-controlled, randomized trials must be obtained prior to determine if hyperbaric oxygen should be used as a treatment for traumatic brain injury.

There are several HBO2 studies that are sponsored by the DoD. A U.S. Air Force study was recently completed and has been published in the Journal of Neurotrauma. The HBO2 Therapy for Persistent Post-concussive Symptoms after mTBI, known as HOPPS study is completed and its results are pending publication in the near future. The U.S. Navy/Richmond VA study is complete and was published in the Journal of Head Trauma and Annals of Neurotrauma. A fourth study, mTBI Mechanisms of Action of HBO2 for Persistent Post-Concussive Symptoms, called BIMA began in September 2012 and is currently recruiting participants. A fifth study, called the Normal Study is in the process of subject recruitment as well.

The common goal of these studies to answer questions about the effectiveness of HBO2 as a safe treatment for mTBI/post concussion syndrome. Each study has its own emphasis, looking into efficacy, safety, duration, treatment dose and various neurological assessments of the effect of hyperbaric oxygen for this condition.



Last Modified Date: 04-Dec-2012