According to a latest study, hyperbaric treatments seem to improve the condition of children with autism. Previous uncontrolled studies have reported of certain improvements in such children; however till date no controlled study seems to have being conducted on this topic. Thus, the present study is said to be the first controlled trial to report of clinical improvements in such children.
Hyperbaric treatments, also known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy makes use of oxygen at a level that is higher than atmospheric pressure. This type of treatment is said to have gained popularity as a treatment for autism. Previous data has reported an improvement in people with autism with this type of treatment. Thus, to assess the efficacy of hyperbaric treatment in children with autism the study investigators monitored around 62 children with autism.
This study was conducted by Daniel A. Rossignol, and colleagues in USA. They randomly categorized these 2-7 year old children into two groups; either, 40 hours of hyperbaric treatment at 1.3 atmosphere and 24 percent oxygen (treatment group), or slightly pressurized room air at 1.03 atmosphere and 21 percent oxygen (non-treatment group).
Their clinical outcomes were calculated by three different scales; the Clinical Global Impression scale, the Aberrant Behavior Checklist, and the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist. The obtained results revealed that the children with autism in the treatment group had significant improvements as compared to the children in the non-treatment group.
It was also noticed that hyperbaric treatments were safe and well-tolerated. In the children in the treatment group, an improvement was noticed in their over-all functioning, social interaction, receptive language, eye contact, etc. Thus the study investigators conclude that the children in the treatment group receiving hyperbaric treatment were in a much better condition as compared to the children in the non-treatment group.
Their findings are published in the BioMed Central Pediatrics journal.