New research shows that stem cells reduce inflammation in the brain, which makes a strong argument for HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) to be a primary treatment for TBI. There is already ample research showing that the first steps in neurogenesis (creation of new brain cells) involve stem cells. This new research at the University of Texas Health Science Center shows that a patient’s own stem cells (harvested from bone marrow) actually reduce neuroinflammation and its potential damage to brain tissues following trauma. Here is the good news. HBOT significantly increases the production of stem cells in the body, safely and inexpensively.
One must ask: As research and clinical trials proceed to explore the processes, safety and efficacy of harvesting an individual’s stem cells and then putting them back into the body, why isn’t the medical community using HBOT to treat TBI right now? Or, at the very least, why is HBOT not the focus of intensive research in treating TBI?
HBOT is readily available, known to increase stem cell production, and has been proven to be extremely safe. The UTHealth research at UTHealth is being funded by the Joint Warfighter Program within the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity. This is one of the organizations that should be totally dedicated to bringing even their preliminary findings safely into the immediate care of active duty and veteran warfighters. Research into new therapies and delivery systems is important, but if we have the tools at hand, the focus should be on healing NOW.