Hyperbaric treatment for brain injuries

Joe Namath has been working with the Jupiter Medical Center in Florida to try to heal brain injury.  From Yahoo News:

Until recently, the NFL had been lacking in helping players with their medical issues after their careers were done. Namath knew that more needed to be done, so he reached out to Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, Fla. and asked about possible ways that brain injuries could be dealt with. He was willing to be tested to see how possible treatments may – or may not – work.

That led to the creation of the Joe Namath Neurological Research Center at the Jupiter Medical Center.

Namath started a series of hyperbaric treatments – 120 dives during the span of roughly nine months. Each chamber dive takes about an hour and 20 minutes. The first 15 minutes is used to get to the proper atmosphere. The chamber is designed to allow the atmospheric pressure to be doubled or tripled, allowing the lungs to take in more air.

Conceptually, injured body tissue needs more oxygen to heal. So for someone with a brain injury such as a concussion, the hope is that these treatments can and will restore the function of damaged or dead brain cells.

Joe Namath's brain scans, courtesy of Joe Namath Neurological Research Center at the Juniper Medical Center

Joe Namath’s brain scans, courtesy of Joe Namath Neurological Research Center at the Juniper Medical Center

To be able to see, to literally be able to see, with the nuclear scan the cells that had stopped working to start working, to get blood flow. To be restored, renewed and start looking like the rest of my brain. The FDA approved this study and they want another study, this one on 100 people,” Namath told Yahoo Sports.

This is a common treatment and it’s widely available.  Hopefully the VA will begin testing as well to see if it helps all the people injured with TBI in the service.

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