Autism is a disorder of the developing brain that appears in early childhood. It is estimated to affect
1 in every 150 American 8-year-old children and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. It can result in a severe developmental disability. Children with autism have difficulties
in social interaction and communication and may show repetitive behaviors or injure themselves, have limited or no perception
of danger, reject cuddling, resist
change, and/or have unusual attachments to objects
Autism has a strong genetic component, and in some families, autism tends to be more
prevalent. In identical twins with autism, both are usually affected. In the Autism Consortium study, researchers found a
rare genetic variation on chromosome 16 that raises the risk of developing autism. Researchers estimate that the gene variation
may account for 1 percent of autism cases, while 10 percent of total cases have a different known genetic cause. However,
the number of children with autism appears to be increasing more than expected for a genetic disorder. This suggests to scientists
that genetic abnormalities require the influence of other factors to cause the disorder. Birth complications, environmental
concerns, toxins, diet, viruses or other pathogens have been suggested. There is no strong evidence for any of these at this
time. Research into the causes of autism is ongoing.
People with autism feature immune system activation and ongoing inflammation in the
brain, produced by cells known as microglia and astroglia. When researchers measured brain levels of immune system proteins
called cytokines and chemokines, they found abnormal patterns consistent with inflammation, but findings indicate that they
are part of the 'innate' immune system, and do not appear to be caused by immune abnormalities from outside the brain. Scientists
do not yet know whether this inflammation is beneficial or harmful to the developing brain. Recent research has also discovered
that some autistic individuals have decreased cerebral perfusion (blood flow) and increased evidence of oxidative stress.
This hypoperfusion was to several areas of the brain, such as the temporal regions and areas specifically related to language.
Studies showing diminished blood flow to these areas correlates with autistic behaviors including repetitive, self-stimulatory
and stereotypical behaviors, impairments in communication, sensory perception and social interaction.
Hyperbaric Oxygenation is
an adjunct therapy used to treat autistic behaviors at any age level.
A study conducted by Trish Planck in Reno NV, found hyperbaric
oxygenation to be a possible benefit in the treatment of Autism:
One to two daily treatments, five consecutive days per week for a total of 40 treatments were administered, with weekends off.
The study’s subjective
· Global reduction in aggressive behavior
· Substantial decrease in tendency to rage or exhibit tantrums
· Easier to engage when the parent wished to initiate communication
· Marked improvement of direct eye contact
· Displayed higher achievement with better performance and less instruction in classroom assignment
· Improved understanding verbal commands
· Reasoning abilities were noticeably enhanced
Suggested Treatment Schedule:
One to two daily treatments, five days/week for a total of 30-40 treatments
is the usual base protocol, with booster sessions as needed. Individual responses vary.