Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Military plans to test brain injury therapy
April 01, 2010, Associated Press
DENVER - The U.S. military plans clinical trials next year to see if breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber helps brain injuries to heal, or at least relieve the headaches, mood swings or other symptoms.
About 300 service members with mild to moderate injuries will participate in the trials of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Colorado, California, North Carolina and Texas.
Col. Richard Ricciardi (rih-CHAR'-dee) of the Defense Center of Excellence said Thursday the therapy is unproven but merits clinical trials.
He says the theory is that more oxygen dissolves in the blood when the body is under pressure, and increased oxygen levels can help tissue heal.
Nearly 120,000 service members have suffered traumatic brain injuries since 2003.