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382218 tn?1341181487

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for MS: "There is little need for further research."

Tonight I saw an ad on TV for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  Among the 60+ diseases it is said to help treat, was MS.  Being both entirely skeptical but curious as to the basis of this claim, I googled.  Found this research article which found inconsistent evidence to support this claim, which was no big surprise.  What was to my surprise was that the article concluded with the statement "There is little need for further research."

Made me chuckle given our discussion yesterday:

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Multiple-Sclerosis/Trend-for-decreasing-Multiple-Sclerosis-Severity-Scores-MSSS-with-increasing-calendar-year-of-enrollment-into-the-New-York-State-Multiple-Sclerosis-Consortium-/show/1451038?personal_page_id=875869#post_6610245





Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which involves people breathing pure oxygen in a specially designed chamber, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the nervous system which affects young and middle-aged adults. Repeated damage to parts of the nerves leads to progressive weakness and disability. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves people breathing pure oxygen in a specially designed chamber (such as used for deep sea divers suffering pressure problems after resurfacing). HBOT is sometimes used for MS in case a lack of oxygen to the affected nerves may be making MS worse, but this theory is unproven. The review of nine trials found no consistent evidence that HOBT can improve disability or modify the progression of MS. There is little need for further research.

Bennett MH, Heard R
5 Responses
1453990 tn?1329231426
The nervous system seem to more effected by the availability of nitric oxide to promote nerve repair than supersaturation with oxygen.

"Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the nervous system which affects young and middle-aged adults. Repeated damage to parts of the nerves leads to progressive weakness and disability. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves people breathing pure oxygen in a specially designed chamber (such as used for deep sea divers suffering pressure problems after resurfacing). HBOT is sometimes used for MS in case a lack of oxygen to the affected nerves may be making MS worse, but this theory is unproven. The review of nine trials found no consistent evidence that HOBT can improve disability or modify the progression of MS. There is little need for further research."

http://www.uhms.org/portals/0/pdf/Treatment_of_Multiple_Sclerosis.pdf

Bennett MH, Heard R. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for multiple sclerosis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2004, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD003057. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003057.pub2

Bob
1453990 tn?1329231426
My research was the same as DV's, but I included the link to the PDF.  

The US Navy and the Royal Navy have more experience in Hyperbaric Medicine (and operate more chambers) than just about anybody out there.  It has proven efficacy for radiation necrosis of soft tissue and bone, mucormycosis, gas gangrene, disassociation of carbon monoxide from hemoglobin, gas embolism and improving the viability of skin grafts.  It is not recognized for the reversal of Myelin and/or nerve damage.

There are current therapies for peripheral nerve disease using pulsed infrared light to increase the local nitric oxide level around the nerves to resolve peripheral neuropathy, but those are typically non-myelinated nerves and it might be a bit difficult to get pulsed IR anywhere near the central nervous system.

Bob
382218 tn?1341181487
Thanks Bob.  I should add that ny skepticism about this therapy is in regards to treating MS.  I have heard about it being used successful for other heath issues, eg: athletes using it to expedite recovery period for sports injuries.
Avatar universal
Continue your research.  There are actual MS patients that have found it helpful for there sleeping, balance, fatigue, and vertigo.  MSers are the ones you want to hear from, not the researchers that say, there is little need for future research.  

Steph
Avatar universal
http://www.jpands.org/vol10no4/maxfield.pdf

Had to post this link.  Good reading about actual MS patients and Hbot.
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