A safe, effective treatment exists for Iraq war veterans who have suffered brain injury. This treatment is called HBOT and delivers a powerful dose of oxygen to the brain.
HBOT is approved by the FDA but not for use with brain injuries. We need your help to overcome the bureaucratic obstacles to treating our injured veterans with an already proven therapy.
On September 10th, the House of Representatives Defense Appropriations bill funded the AAHF-sponsored DoD-Brain Injury Rescue & Rehabilitation Project. This University-supervised HBOT 1.5 study will start the randomized-controlled study of 100 veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
$1.5 million will only pay for 50 veterans to be treated, but is an important start. It must now be supported in the US Senate and signed by the President.
There is opposition from those who are skeptical about any treatment for TBI or who insist on trying to find a drug solution. $1 billion has already been spent by Congress to find a treatment for TBI, even though a proven solution already exists.
As noted above, this treatment is already approved by the FDA and paid by Medicare for 16 indications. Three are neurological. HBOT treatment already occurs 10,000 times per day at 800 locations for things like diabetic foot wounds, burns, and the bends.
HBOT 1.5 saturates tissues with 12X as much oxygen as can be breathed. Oxygen is necessary for healing. But since there is NO patent possible for hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 1.5 ata (HBOT 1.5), there is no drug company sponsor. For years, research submissions through regular means remain unfunded. Therefore this research cannot be completed without this legislation.
HBOT 1.5 should be the standard of care for brain injury (as well as other maladies such as dementia). Once clinical experience (that is, experience gained by individual doctors) is verified, we will have an accepted treatment for the 600,000+ veterans and millions of Americans with brain injuries.
HBOT 1.5 is effective, permanent, legal, ethical, and available today at 78 facilities. These facilities have joined with AAHF in creating a nationwide network with a database that will track treatment. This will create a process to validate many other effective treatments.
On August 14, 2008, Dr. Paul Harch, who pioneered and perfected this treatment 17 years ago at Louisiana State University, testified before the Navy Surgeon General and Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps about treating five veterans of the war. Three were in the room. ALL had significant permanent improvement in cognitive function, headaches, sleeplessness, and 80% had no more post traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
General Patt Maney had severe brain trauma. He languished at Walter Reed for nearly a year with no progress. Everyone at Walter Reed saw him recover in 120 days after 80 1 hour HBOT 1.5 treatments and return to the bench as a seated Judge. Despite this, treatment at Walter Reed for other TBI patients remains unchanged.
One Marine eventually treated by Dr. Harch had 7 blast injuries in two tours in Iraq. For two years he suffered severe PTSD, migraines, sleepless nights and cognitive loss. After 40 HBOT 1.5 treatments, those problems are gone, and he is working.
Cost? Medicare pays about $16,000 for all 80 treatments. Oxygen costs only $240. This is less than counseling or ineffective prescription drugs. And consider what may follow without successful treatment: disability, broken families, behavioral problems of veterans suffering from PTSD, even prison time.