Effective Concussion Treatment Remains Frustratingly Elusive, Despite a Booming Industry
New York Times, July 3, 2015
by Barry Meier and Danielle Ivory
In a small brick building across the street from a Taco Bell in Marrero, La., patients enter a clear plastic capsule and breathe pure oxygen.
The procedure, known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, uses a pressurized chamber to help scuba divers overcome the bends and to aid people sickened by toxic gases. But Dr. Paul G. Harch, who operates the clinic there on the outskirts of New Orleans, offers it as a concussion treatment.
One patient, Rashada Parks, said that she had struggled with neck pain, mood swings and concentration problems ever since she fell and hit her head more than three years ago. Narcotic painkillers hadn’t helped her, nor had antidepressants. But after 40 hour long treatments, or dives, in a hyperbaric chamber, her symptoms have subsided.
“I have hope now,” Ms. Parks said. “It’s amazing.”
Photo: Dr. Paul G. Harch, who operates a clinic on the outskirts of New Orleans, contends treatment in a hyperbaric chamber can alleviate symptoms that follow a concussion.Credit William Widmer for The New York Times
For a long time, treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been nonexistent, and people experiencing TBI have had to deal with varying levels of physical, mental, and emotional disability because of it.
However, new research has confirmed previous theories that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can be an effective treatment for TBI—and now possibly even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This research, conducted by Dr. Paul Harch, a New Orleans-based hyperbaric medicine physician and researcher, could have significant implications for modern TBI and PTSD treatments.
Hopkins County strongly urges the Texas State Government to provide appropriate funding and focus to provide results orientated, evidence based, proven treatment, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, for returning Texas Veterans that suffer the residual, after-effects of TBI and PTSD.
Kerr County strongly urges the Texas State Government to provide appropriate funding and focus to provide results orientated, evidence based, proven treatment, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, for returning Texas Veterans that suffer the residual, after-effects of TBI and PTSD.