An LSU Health Sciences Center researcher says military veterans with brain injuries and disorders showed a reduction in suicidal thoughts after undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Dr. Paul Harch has studied the therapy's effects on 30 veterans since 2008. He knew some symptoms would be reduced, but was surprised at the final results.
"Nearly all of them that were suicidal, were not suicidal at the completion of the study", Harch said.
After H-BOT, 52-percent of military patients no longer met the criteria for the diagnosis of PTSD. Harch says the therapy helps to increase oxygen levels to treat the disease.
"We expected to see them improve neruologically and cognitively, but what also happened very early on we found that it benefited their PTSD", Harch said.
He has also treated professional football players and after seeing success with the therapy presented the NFL with his findings.
"We had a meeting with them. Tried to show them all of this, how it could improve their outcomes to get players back on the field sooner. They were not interested", Harch said.
It is estimated that 300-thousand military veterans who return from service in Afghanistan or Iraq have PTSD or major depression.