Saturday, July 10, 2010

Brain Wars: Soldiers Winning Long Fight For Treatment

In the last month wounded US military veterans won key victories in a protracted war to get the healthcare they deserve. We're gratified to see the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs taking swift action on services and benefits for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), thanks in no small part to increased pressure from the media.

Leading the battle cry is the excellent "Brain Wars" series on National Public Radio. Frankly we're amazed at the official military and political responses to the June 8 broadcast on "All Things Considered." And we're apt to believe all this bad publicity also inspired the VA to ease its rules on PTSD last week, so more veterans can qualify for benefits.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy could play a pivotal role in the VA's successful treatment of these wounded soldiers. The major studies sponsored by the IHMA (ongoing and expanding) and the DCoE (scheduled to begin in January 2011) remain the talk of the industry. Meanwhile, hyperbaric physician-scientists continue to publish important new findings on TBI:
  • Presenting at the 8th World Congress on Brain Injury in March, a team from Serbia found repetitive HBOT was effective in reducing brain scarring and inflammation in brain-injured rats.
  • Publishing in the Journal of Neurotrauma in June, a team from China found HBOT neuroprotective in brain-injured rats.
  • Publishing in the Journal of Neurosurgery in May, a team from Minnesota found hyperbaric oxygen more effective than normobaric oxygen in a prospective, randomized study of 69 patients with TBI.
Our thanks and admiration to all who've led and supported this long fight, though far from over. Let's keep up the good work and keep up the pressure.

No comments:

Post a Comment