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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2156, vcohn@liebertpub.com
Should Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Be Used to Treat Combat-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

New Rochelle, NY, November 13, 2012—The average incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among service members deployed in Middle East conflict zones has increased 117% in recent years, mainly due to proximity to explosive blasts. Therapeutic exposure to a high oxygen environment was hoped to minimize the concussion symptoms resulting from mild TBI, but hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) treatment may not offer significant advantages, according to an article in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma website.

A prospective trial conducted at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine evaluated the benefits of HBO2 therapy on post-concussion symptoms in 50 military servicepersons who had suffered at least one combat-related mild TBI. The study, “The Effect of Hyperbaric Oxygen on Symptoms Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury,” compared the results following 30 sessions of either HBO2 (2.4 atmospheres absolute pressure) or sham treatment over an 8-week period.

George Wolf, MD and Leonardo Profenna, MD, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (San Antonio, TX), David Cifu, MD and William Carne, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond), and Laura Baugh, MD, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Department of Neurology (Bethesda, MD), present data demonstrating that both patient groups showed significant improvement in concussion assessment and cognitive testing scores over the course of the study.

“This is a particularly important communication that addresses a continued area of controversy, particularly as it relates to the treatment of our military personnel sustaining mild traumatic brain injury,” says John T. Povlishock, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Neurotrauma and Professor, VCU Neuroscience Center, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond. “While the authors stress that based upon their findings, larger multi-center, randomized, controlled, double-blinded clinical trials should be conducted, the compelling data in this communication does not support any therapeutic value for hyperbaric oxygen treatment, striking a cautionary note for those involved in the care and management of this patient population."


About the Journal
Journal of Neurotrauma is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published 24 times per year in print and online that focuses on the latest advances in the clinical and laboratory investigation of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Emphasis is on the basic pathobiology of injury to the nervous system, and papers and reviews evaluate preclinical and clinical trials targeted at improving the early management and long-term care and recovery of patients with traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma is the Official Journal of the National Neurotrauma Society and the International Neurotrauma Society. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Neurotrauma website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management, Tissue Engineering, and Brain Connectivity. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.