Exploring hyperbaric oxygen therapy for kids

We spoke to Dr. Zemer Wang, Medical Director at DP World’s, about how hyperbaric oxygen therapy stands out as a transformative treatment in paediatric neurorehabilitation.  

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing 100% pure oxygen in a pressurised environment. Within this environment, the elevated pressure increases the oxygen levels in your bloodstream significantly, which enhances the oxygen’s ability to penetrate tissues and promote healing, particularly in conditions associated with oxygen deficits.

Tapping into nature

HBOT’s scientific foundation is its capability to boost oxygen saturation in the blood, substantially promoting the body’s natural healing processes. This is particularly critical in treating brain-related conditions, where increased oxygen levels can effectively reduce inflammation, activate neuroplasticity and trigger the growth of new blood vessels. These new blood vessels deliver oxygen to damaged tissue in the brain and body and restore functional abilities after neurological injuries.

HBOT shows significant clinical promise for treating a variety of neurological disorders in children, including cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and stroke. It can also improve the symptoms of certain types of autism spectrum disorder. Using advanced, scientifically proven HBOT protocols, symptoms of these conditions can be alleviated to give little ones and their families an improved quality of life.

A comprehensive model

DP World’s Aviv Clinics Dubai’s unique HBOT protocol is integrated within a comprehensive, customised treatment plan that combines targeted physical and cognitive training with dietary coaching, to enhance clinical outcomes. This holistic approach begins with a thorough diagnostic assessment, utilising advanced physical and neurological evaluations, and high-resolution brain imaging techniques to ascertain the severity of the injury.

This diagnostic phase is critical as it helps tailor a treatment plan that addresses an injured child’s main dysfunctions and functional impairments, to identify the core of the problem and what the best treatment plan might be.

Improved quality of life

The benefits of HBOT extend far beyond the immediate enhancements felt after each treatment. Over the longer term, young patients frequently experience significant improvements in their motor skills, balance and muscle tone. Cognitive functions, particularly memory and attention span, are also notably improved, due to increased blood flow to the brain regions involved in these processes. Not only that, HBOT stimulates the generation of new blood vessels, enhancing blood flow to the brain, and leading to a marked improvement in overall quality of life.

Promising research

Supporting the efficacy of HBOT, recent scientific research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature, has demonstrated the effectiveness of a unique HBOT protocol in treating childhood neurological damage. This study highlights substantial improvements in cognitive functions such as memory and executive functioning, as well as positive changes in brain structure and emotional wellbeing after treatment.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy represents a significant breakthrough in treating neurological disorders, especially in children. By enhancing the body’s natural healing processes through increased oxygen delivery, HBOT substantially improves the quality of life for our precious little ones.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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