This site became the new on June 19th. Learn more.
Show more Menu IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more... Menu IMPORTANT: Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more... Menu
Give us feedback

Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Autistic Children: A Pilot Study

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
International Hyperbarics Association Identifier:
First received: May 9, 2006
Last updated: April 9, 2007
Last verified: April 2007

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that currently affects as many as 1 out of 166 children in the United States. Autism is considered by many to be a permanent condition with little hope for improvement. Treatment for autism is centered on special schooling and behavioral therapy; medical science currently has little to offer.

Recent research has discovered that some autistic individuals have decreased blood flow to the brain, evidence of inflammation in the brain, and increased markers of oxidative stress. Multiple independent single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) research studies have revealed hypoperfusion to several areas of the autistic brain, most notably the temporal regions and areas specifically related to language comprehension and auditory processing. Several studies show that diminished blood flow to these areas correlates with many of the clinical features associated with autism including repetitive, self-stimulatory and stereotypical behaviors, and impairments in communication, sensory perception, and social interaction. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been used with clinical success in several cerebral hypoperfusion syndromes including cerebral palsy, fetal alcohol syndrome, closed head injury, and stroke. HBOT can compensate for decreased blood flow by increasing the oxygen content of plasma and body tissues and can even normalize oxygen levels in ischemic tissue. In addition, animal studies have shown that HBOT has potent anti-inflammatory effects and reduces oxidative stress. Furthermore, recent evidence demonstrates that HBOT mobilizes stem cells from human bone marrow which may aid recovery in neurodegenerative diseases. Based upon these findings, it is hypothesized that HBOT will improve symptoms in autistic individuals.

The purpose of this study is to determine if HBOT improves clinical outcomes in children with autism. The study will also determine if HBOT changes markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in autistic children.

Condition Intervention
Autism Oxidative Stress Inflammation Drug: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on Clinical Symptoms and Markers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Autistic Children: A Pilot Study

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by International Hyperbarics Association:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Scores on autism rating scales before and after HBOT
  • Measure of inflammation before and after HBOT
  • Measures of oxidative stress before and after HBOT

Estimated Enrollment: 18

Ages Eligible for Study:   2 Years to 18 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Seizures not controlled by medicine
  • Inability to ventilate ears
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00324909

United States, Virginia
Blue Ridge Medical Center
Arrington, Virginia, United States, 22922
Sponsors and Collaborators
International Hyperbarics Association
Principal Investigator: Daniel A Rossignol, MD Blue Ridge Medical Center
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number): Identifier: NCT00324909     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HBA-1
Study First Received: May 9, 2006
Last Updated: April 9, 2007

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Pathologic Processes processed this record on September 19, 2017