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Hyperbaric Autism Treatment Shows Possible Promise

Posted in News by Skepdude on March 13, 2009

Well not really, but read the whole thing to get to Paul Offits thoughts and comments. I think the title of this piece is more optimistic than what is warranted by the actual article, but I guess you can decide for yourself.

To battle her son’s autism, Kazuko Curtin did more than look into a treatment — she started a clinic for it.


While the reasons remain unclear, hyperbaric chambers may help autistic children.

(ABCNews Photo Illustration)

Twelve years ago, Curtin was told by doctors that her son had autism. In subsequent years, while attending conferences, she heard about treatment in a hyperbaric chamber, where pressure is increased in an attempt to boost the amount of oxygen in the child’s brain.

Curtin bought a machine, and today a hyperbaric chamber is one of the treatments offered by the CARE Clinics in Austin, Texas, and Tampa, Fla., which she opened last year.

“Hyperbaric is very useful,” said Curtin. “You never think autistic children are going to stay inside the hyperbaric for 90 minutes, because they are very restless. What’s amazing — they like it! For some reason, they are very calm inside.”

Curtin is the not the first to use hyperbaric therapy, a procedure with little scientific backing for the treatment of autism. But a new, small study of 56 children treated at several small clinics may change that if the findings can be replicated.



2 Responses

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  1. Tom said, on March 13, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    I have always believed that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy helps autistic children. I even made a comment on the blog about this on December 15, 2007

    My comment regarding Autism Treatments on

    “Considering that I believe this epidemic is caused by sleep apnea……I can see why many parents have found that both gluten free diets and hyperbaric chambers have been helpful.”

    “Considering that I believe this epidemic is caused by sleep apnea which is associated with acid reflux(on the same gene: Chromosome 13: 13q14) I can see why many parents have found that both gluten free diets and hyperbaric chambers have been helpful. Tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies, and nCPAP’s would probably be helpful too.”

    “Regarding the Autism Epidemic. In 1993 the SIDS Prevention Back to Sleep campaign was started. At that time about 13% of American babies slept on their back. Now, it is 76%. Back sleep causes more sleep apnea episodes (lack of oxygen) and decreases sleep duration by 6% to 8% compared to stomach sleep. Therefore, since 1993 tens of millions of babies in America (and 30+ other countries) have had 6% to 8% less sleep and more sleep apnea episodes. I personally think this is the cause of the autism epidemic.”

    “Just to follow-up on my previous comment: Sleep apnea has a 4:1 male to female rate. In severe cases of sleep apnea the rate is 10:1. This is because the upper airway anatomies of men and women are different. Sleep apnea can typically be cured by either a tonsillectomy with adenoids removed and/or an nCPAP (nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine.”

  2. Becky said, on March 14, 2009 at 1:02 AM

    Wow I hadn’t ever heard of this form of treatment! Sounds wonderful! I have on the other hand used a great
    autistic diet, outlined in Julie Matthews’ book, “Nourishing Hope for Autism,” which has proven to be extremely helpful! The “Cooking to Heal” DVD gave me practical lessons for how to implement autism diets into my daily shopping and cooking routine. It has really helped my autistic son.

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