Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy May Improve Symptoms in Autistic Children
Recent research has discovered that some autistic individuals have decreased cerebral perfusion, evidence of neuroinflammation, and increased markers of oxidative stress. Studies have revealed hypoperfusion to several areas of the autistic brain, most notably the temporal regions and areas specifically related to language comprehension and auditory processing. Several studies show that diminished blood flow to these areas correlates with many of the clinical features associated with autism including repetitive, self-stimulatory and stereotypical behaviors, and impairments in communication, sensory perception, and social interaction. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been used with clinical success in several cerebral hypoperfusion syndromes including cerebral palsy, fetal alcohol syndrome, closed head injury, and stroke. It is hypothesized that HBOT will improve symptoms in autistic individuals. A retrospective case series is presented that supports this hypothesis.