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For brain injury victims, pressurized oxygen may not be the answer

Head trauma can happen to anyone, and if the brain sustains injury as a result, it can significantly impact that individual’s life. For brain injury victims, research to find new treatments is important for the recovery process.

In 2009, several studies began to look at whether pressurized oxygen can help heal mild brain injuries. Supporters of this theory had contended that pressurized oxygen:

  • Increases oxygen levels
  • Helps heal damaged brain cells
  • Improves brain function

The studies, four in total, set out to determine if these improvements would be reflected in the studies’ results. A group of Marines was used: one group was given pressurized oxygen to breathe and the other group was given regular air. Only two studies have been completed, and both show that improvement levels were the same for both groups. The two remaining studies will likely show the same results as the completed studies.

While this may be discouraging, doctors and researchers are continuously looking for new procedures and medications to help brain injury victims on their road to recovery.

Source: USA Today, “Hyperbaric chamber treatments did not help with TBI,” Gregg Zoroya, Sept. 21, 2013

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