Why do hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT) & intensive
pediatric therapy work so synergistically together?
is one of the most important mechanisms of brain repair and involves the redirection and reeducation of neurons to make new
pathways to learn and improve both cognitive and motor skills. Following any brain insult there is a period of plasticity
while the brain and body compensate and attempt to overcome and rewire their connections to learn to take over the tasks of
the damaged neurons. In children, plasticity is ongoing, as the brain is in development and still growing new brain cells.
Just as babies need to be taught to walk and talk, newly awakened neurons need to be redirected and retrained. HBOT, the safe,
non-invasive use of 100% oxygen under greater than atmospheric pressure, has been clearly proven to reactivate and facilitate
dormant, idling, damaged neurons that had been receiving enough oxygen to exist but not enough to function or fire electrically.
The reactivation of these cells with HBOT opens up whole new areas of plasticity so that the brain is able to learn or relearn
the skills that are necessary for proper function of both the brain, as it relates to cognitive function, and the body as
the brain makes new connections for recovery of trunk, limb and muscle movement. New neurons are like newborn babies. They
need direction for their optimal growth and development. This is why a multi-disciplinary approach to brain injury in cerebral
palsy and the brain injured child is so crucial to the outcome. The sooner the new neurons can be redirected to take on the
tasks of the damaged areas the more promising the prognosis. It is the intensive therapy and strength training that redirect
the brain cells when they are reactivated by HBOT to form the necessary pathways for functional recovery. The synergy of the
two approaches combined demonstrates a good and positive outcome for the child.