Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Autism: HBOT Among "Risky Alternative Therapies"?

Strong words from the recent Chicago Tribune autism treatment series. At the risk of offending some parents and physicians of children with autism, we recommend it as required reading. Not that we'd lump hyperbaric oxygen in with "risky alternative therapies," but perhaps an HBOT researcher or two can honestly be said to have "hijacked" science to suit their objectives.

Still, individual successes and powerful anecdotes do matter. Medicine invented higher education by case study, after all. O2.0 simply won't view skepticism and hope as mutually exclusive principles but, rather, as equally strong motivators for good evidence-based medicine. So let's get on with it. Once more we urge researchers to raise the pressure from mild to true HBOT and raise the stakes by organizing larger prospective trials and observational studies.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna of Dr Carlos Pardo at Johns Hopkins.)

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