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  • Writer's picturepaul watts

Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Cerebral Palsy

HBOT and Cerebral Palsy

The following topic is a brief excerpt of one of the presenters at our 2023 IHA Conference in Hollywood, FL this past June. We found the subject to be beneficial to us and our clients. Enjoy…

What cerebral palsy is not…

  • It is not a Disease

  • It is not Progressive

  • It is not temporary

Cerebral Palsy Defined

It is an umbrella term that describes a group of permanent neurological disorders caused by a brain defect or injury that occurred before or during birth or in the first few months of life.

It is a non-progressive condition characterized by motor and muscle tone abnormalities.

Cerebral Palsy is characterized by an inability to fully control motor function, particularly muscle strength and coordination and muscle tone.

The faulty development or damage to the motor areas of the brain disrupt the brain's ability to adequately control movement and posture.

Depending upon which areas of the brain have been damaged we will find:

  • Hypotonia

  • Disturbance and Gait or Mobility, or posture

  • Difficulty in swallowing and speech

  • Muscle tightness or spasticity

  • Involuntary movement

Types of Cerebral Palsy

  • Ataxic

  • Mixed

  • Spastic (Greater than 80%)

  • Dyskinetic- Athetosis- Dystonia


  • Vascular

  • Infection

  • Congenital

  • Trauma

  • Perinatal and postnatal ( during the first year of life)

Some Numbers

More than 160,000 children affected in the USA

Effects 1/400-500 children

Mental Retardation in 30%


  • Progressive Orthopedic conditions


Hip Luxation

Muscle Retractions

caused by weakness, muscular imbalance, spasticity

  • Lack of Autonomy

  • Feeding difficulty

Treatment objectives

  • Help the child in achieving maximum potential in development, motor skills, function and autonomy

  • Prevent and treat related conditions and complications

Cerebral Palsy and its management utilizing HBOT

Cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions are still not recognized indications for treatment with HBOT despite numerous Publications and strong evidence of this treatment benefits.

Repeated strong evidence has indicated the most probable treatment modality to be 1.3 ATA, this is achievable via soft-sided chambers/ mild HBOT or mHBOT. This makes treatment possible in an at home setting. This method also is much more viable than a Hospital/ clinical setting. Creating greater flexibility in treatment periods for the pts and caregivers.

HBOT mechanisms in Neurological Conditions

  • Accelerates and improves the cellular repair mechanism

  • Improves Mitochondrial function and cellular metabolism

  • Improves Axonal regeneration and Myelination

  • Increases Neuroplasticity by reactivating neurons and Glial cells in vegetative state

  • Increases the amount of circulating Stem Cells

  • Decreases inflammation, Apoptosis

  • Increases Angiogenesis

The Lancet Study

The results of the research opened the door to a possibility that mild hyperbaric treatment (1.3 ATA) could be beneficial as higher dosage HBOT (1.5-1.75 ATA) and at least certain neurological conditions involving children and possibly adults as well.

The study has been criticized due to the confusing nature and inaccurate data collection. The interested lay person should conduct their own research utilizing the study as a basis.


The overall results pointed to the increased possibility of successful utilization of mHBOT (1.3 ATA) could provide increased beneficial outcome to Cerebral Palsy patients, as well as increased pressures of 1.5- 1.75 ATA which are normally provided in hospital clinical settings. The mHBOT treatment pressure should provide greater hope and increase flexibility to those providing care and treatment.


Hyperbaric Treatments in Cerebral Palsy: The Incredible Journey and Evergoing Battle” Pierre Marois, MD, FRCP (c) IHA 2023 International Conference Presentation


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