Research on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Autism Launched

Burnaby, Canada— Simon Fraser University (SFU) has just received $500,000 as funding for its Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) research from Central City Brewing and Distillery President Darryl Frost, and his wife, Lee Frost.

The Frosts donated the sum for the university’s research after they were convinced that their five-year-old son with autism, Callum, has shown significant signs of improvement after undergoing intensive Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. According to Mrs. Frost,

“He was an extremely low-functioning child, unable to do anything for himself, including feeding, dressing and communicating. However, with dietary changes and intense hyperbaric therapy he is now talking in sentences and is more compliant. He no longer has sensory issues or shows any of the behaviors that once engulfed him, and attends kindergarten with an aid. He is now toilet-trained, can feed and dress himself and has more confidence than his twin brother. Our son is coming back to us fast and furious.”

During an HBOT treatment, the patient is placed inside a pressure chamber where he breathes 100 per cent of oxygen. According to the researchers, this allows for the saturation of tissues greater by tenfold, compared to that of the rate achieved at a normal pressure.

SFU Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit (EMPU) director Sherry Ferguson, together with Peter Ruben, associate dean for the university’s Faculty of Science, will spearhead the research on HBOT. According to Ruben,

“We don’t know how HBOT may help autism and other brain disorders. What we do know is that HBOT increases the oxygen circulating in the blood stream and, therefore, the amount of oxygen reaching the brain. So we can speculate that increasing oxygen supply to the brain may literally energize cells, and pathways of cells, that are damaged or functioning at a low level of metabolic activity.”

At the moment, renovations have already started at the SFU’s Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit, but according to Ferguson, the study may not begin until 2016.

Source: Diane Luckow on the Simon Fraser University News website: New funding spurs autism and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy research at SFU

Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta

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