In this Research Rundown we continue our discussion with Tom Fox on Cerebral Palsy and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Tom has twin step-sons who were both born with CP and had phenomenal results with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Listen to Research Rundown Episode 24 as he discusses his personal experience with HBOT through the eyes of his children.  He ends the episode introducing the Collet study, which we will dive into here.


  • This study was a Montreal multicenter trial completed in 2001.  It is considered the study that not only changed the view of Cerebral Palsy, but also the care of Cerebral Palsy.
  • The doctor who was instrumental in making sure this particular study happened, was Dr. Pierre Marois. Dr. Marois is a physiatrist based out of Quebec. He sees about 90% of the children who are born with birth injuries like CP, and he’s participated in three different Cerebral Palsy & HBOT studies, including two studies that we will be reviewing in Research Rundowns.
  • In this study, Dr. Collet evaluated four centers, and collected information on 111 children with Cerebral Palsy.
    • This was a dose study on Hyperbarics. It looked at two doses — Hyperbaric Air and Hyperbaric Oxygen, and compared them to each other.
    • Starting from their baseline, both groups showed significant improvement in their quality of life including improvement in gross motor function, fine motor function, reduction in spasticity, reduction in custodial care time, and also improved cognition.
  • Unfortunately this study has since been referred to as a negative study.  However, Tom explains that it’s not true, and those who want to put the study in a negative light haven’t looked at it in the context of universal health care for Montreal.
    • Universal health care uses health care to return people back into the workforce to pay for the system. If you’re not going to return to the workforce, then it’s not a prudent use of hyperbarics.
    • The “control group” of this 2001 study is not really a control group at all. All individuals in both groups (hyperbaric air & hyperbaric oxygen) improved.  Recently, it’s been shown that using ambient air in a hyperbaric chamber has been invalidated as a control, proving it to be a metabolically active arm of hyperbaric studies.  See Episode 23, where we dive into Dr. Harch’s latest scientific definitions and the different mechanisms that occur when a patient receives just pressure. Additionally, Dr. Harch offers specific insight into HBOT and Cerebral Palsy in Part 5 of our HBOT News Conversations with Dr. Paul Harch.
  • A lot of children with CP would benefit from improved quality of life with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, and that also will greatly benefit the parents.

Read Hyperbaric oxygen for children with cerebral palsy: a randomised multicentre trial