Pearl Harbor Day Celebrated with Recognition of Long Awaited Treatment for Brain Injury!

Dec 06, 2011, 20:27 ET from International Hyperbaric Medical Association

Asks for Support of HR 396 & NDAA Section 731 TBI Treatment Act

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, we honor the 2,400 Americans who died 70 years ago with the attack on Pearl Harbor, thrusting us into World War II.  About 16 million men and women served and sacrificed for the United States.  All gave some and many gave all.  About 4.4 million men participated in Army Combat operations, and experienced 80% of the casualties.

Over the last decade, we have sent 2.5 million men and women to Iraq or Afghanistan, about 62% of the number that participated in army operations in World War II.  Today, as many as 750,000 of the 2.5 million who have served, or 33%, may be suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) known as the 'signature injury of this war' or PTSD, including 219,200 of the active Army force (40%).  Many have experienced great personal tragedy from effects of the TBI, including disability, major unemployment, loss of relationships, substance abuse and suicide. 

There are solutions to TBI and PTSD and the International Hyperbaric Medical Association (IHMA) is dedicated to providing both the evidence and the access to therapies that work.  One of the most promising solutions for TBI or PTSD is FDA-approved Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).  This treatment was first established in 1937 for neurological injury.  A dosage of 1.5 atmospheres of pressure is shown to help TBI and PTSD.  While FDA approved, HBOT treatment is not currently reimbursed system wide for injured veterans and active duty military members.    

In H.R. 396, the TBI Treatment Act, introduced by Congressman Pete Sessions directs the military to pay for treatments for TBI or PTSD that do more than mask symptoms. This allows "physician-driven research" to determine if a treatment should be adopted by scientifically tracking treatments that work for individual patients.  Sadly many veterans want access to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) or other treatments but have trouble getting them reimbursed even when they work!  H.R. 396 has been endorsed by the Brain Injury Caucus and organizations serving those with brain injury. The IHMA is asking that veterans and military families across the nation call upon their legislators to see this bill becomes law. It is close!

The prestigious peer-reviewed Journal of Neurotrauma has just published the latest study reinforcing the historical safety and feasibility of the HBOT 1.5 ATA (atmospheres absolute) protocol.   The article entitled, "A Phase I Study of Low-Pressure Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Blast-Induced Post-Concussion Syndrome and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" demonstrated that, on average, study participants recovered nearly 15 IQ points!  This was coupled with improved memory scores, and executive function.  Over half were able to return to duty, work or school.  In addition symptoms like headaches, post-concussion symptoms, abnormal neurological exam findings, cognition, PTSD, depression, suicidal ideation, quality of life improved.  Imaging showed brain blood flow was significantly improved after just 40 HBOT treatments (1/2 of the recommended protocol).  This study was conducted by leading HBOT expert, Dr. Paul Harch, LSU School of Medicine and his colleagues from Georgetown, UC Irvine, and University of North Dakota.  For information see: or

To find treatment, available at over 100 locations nationwide, call the International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation's referral service at (530) 239-0715.  To schedule an interview with Dr. Harch, contact Dr. Duncan at 703-505-7530 or contact him by email at

Contact:  William A. Duncan

SOURCE International Hyperbaric Medical Association