Our Nation's Heroes in Crisis
According to the Rand Report (Invisible Wounds of War, 4/2008) as many as 660,000 of the 1.5 million United States servicemen and women sent to Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001 have incurred and are now suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, or a combination of all three.
TBI-associated PTSD is an expected outcome of the concussive effects of modern warfare. Just one head impact or nearby IED explosion, with or without loss of consciousness, has been known to cause brain injury. Many soldiers have experienced many such concussive events, after which they may lose the ability to function or cope in previously mastered areas of life. This initially shows up as difficulty readjusting to civilian life and managing relationships and social interactions.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
The consequences of these disorders are significant and include marital discord, unemployment, societal dysfunction, violence upon family members and loved ones, alcohol and drug abuse, criminal activity, and 15 suicides/day, the highest of any U.S. military conflict in history.
In addition, these men and women are no longer fit for duty and are discharged from the military for a variety of reasons or medically boarded out of the military. The loss of experience and intellectual capital is expected to compromise the current and future strength of our military.
To address these issues in our patients, we use a powerful multi-faceted approach. First, we focus on maximizing general health and removing the causes of inflammation that affect brain function. We also make referrals to appropriate therapies that help to re-wire the brain in a way that decreases triggers of anxiety, anger, etc. Finally, we evaluate whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy should be considered as part of the treatment plan.
In 2014, the Oklahoma State Legislature passed legislation officially recognizing hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) as a suitable medical treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury in veterans.
Shown below are two frontal 3D SPECT images of a patient experiencing devastating loss of physical, emotional and mental health due to a traumatic head injury.
The left scan image: taken before HBOT, appears to have areas missing, representing areas of insufficient blood flow with corresponding loss of brain function.
The right scan image: taken after HBOT, has a smooth fullness indicating restored blood flow with the associated restored brain activity.
Restored Brain Function - Quality of life can be improved in the following areas following HBOT:
Qualifying Criteria for Treatment