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Dr. Alison Bested, MD, and her team in Florida have published results of a case series that, once again, proves the power of Hyperbaric Oxygenation to stop suicidal ideation by healing brain wounds. 39 participants reported reduced pain, improved mood, and better sleep, an outcome that translated into an average of about 46.6% improvement in the measured symptoms.

The study, A Case Series of 39 United States Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, is “the first study to use brain SPECT scans with quantitative numerical measurements to demonstrate improvement in brain perfusion in veterans with mild TBI treated with HBOT and measured mTBI symptoms.” A 40-person study is currently recruiting to further validate these important findings.

The President, Secretary of the VA, SECDEF, and medical researchers are obligated to take notice of the findings and move immediately to incorporate this healing modality into standard of care. A unrelenting fifteen year increase in suicides among active duty and the Veteran population, despite billions in spending that only palliates symptoms, argues for at least Emergency Use Authorization of HBOT to fight the suicide epidemic. [An added benefit of HBOT is that it allows the wounded to get off almost all their prescribed black-box-labeled drugs, including opioids, that warn of suicidal ideation!]

In a continuing series of efforts to study the problem of the suicide epidemic afflicting DOD and Veterans, SECDEF Austin formed a Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee. Further, they recently published a plan for its DOD Warfighter Brain Health Initiative. It calls for, among many goals, initiatives to “identify, develop, and deploy evidence-based treatment and rehabilitation strategies for TBIs that will return warfighters to optimal health and performance.”

This study demonstrates, yet again, an approach hiding in plain sight. Coupled with the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society’s recent advances in the science of Hyperbaric Medicine, DoD and the VA can be heroes in adding coverage of evidence-based HBOT treatment for TBI/PTSD wound healing.

Dr. Bested’s study is one in a decade-long record of 20 peer-reviewed studies demonstrating safety, efficacy, and cost effectiveness of using Hyperbaric Oxygenation to repair body and brain-wounding caused by combat: blast, falls, training, own-weapon blasts, and IEDs. Importantly, during and after HBOT treatment, suicidal ideation is eliminated. And in over 400 cases of treating and helping heal combat injuries in SpecOps Warriors, HBOT is demonstrated to restore overall wellness, Peak Performance, and readiness.

Bested, Alison. (2022). A Case Series of 39 United States Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy ctn-06-00021 3-31-22 mild TBI & HBOT. Clinical and Translational Neuroscience. 6. 1-14. 10.3390/ctn6030021.