4 Reasons for the Growing Popularity of Hyperbaric Therapy for Autism

Hyperbaric Chamber 1

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a range of neurodevelopment issues that result in behavioral impairments, such as repetitive and restrictive behaviors. The ASD include Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder, and pervasive developmental. There are various minor and major impacts of ASD seen in the form of inflammation, cerebral hypoperfusion, immune dysregulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and organ dysfunction. 

Hyperbaric therapy for autism can improve symptoms of ASD with increased oxygenation in the body. HBOT therapy provides more oxygen to the patient in a pressurized tube. Once the patient enters the pressurized chamber, the body starts carrying 100% oxygen through body fluids, including cerebral spinal fluids and lipids. This helps in delivering optimum oxygen to brain cells, which assists in relieving symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

Below we have discussed 4 reasons why hyperbaric therapy for autism is a beneficial option. Read on to know more. 

4 Reasons to Use Hyperbaric Therapy for Autism

Currently, Autism Spectrum Disorders have no treatment options. Medical professionals can only offer medication to improve symptoms. This is why hyperbaric therapy for autism can help. Below are the 4 significant reasons why. 

  1. Hypoperfusion Support

Normally, when a child or person is performing a task, their brain increases perfusion to improve blood flow. This action helps in increasing glucose and oxygen supply to the brain which allows cells to meet energy needs. However, in autistic individuals or children, this action is absent. These children have low brain blood flow. When they are focusing on any task, the blood flow in their brain doesn’t increase. This prevents brain cells from getting enough oxygen. Hence, there’s a huge possibility of cerebral hypoxia in autistic children. 

With age, cerebral hypoxia becomes more prominent in these children. In fact, the decrease in blood flow can be easily correlated with autistic changes or behavioral modifications of these children.

For example, if the hypoxia is in the Thalamus part of the brain, self-stimulatory and repetitive behaviors become worse. If the hypoxia is in temporal lobes, social communication is impacted. 

Hyperbaric therapy for autism can improve symptoms by offering 100% oxygen to the body. When oxygen reaches deprived cells of the brain, such as to temporal lobes and Thalamus, responses of the autistic child improve. 

For example, in the given case, 2 children who were suffering from ASD received hyperbaric therapy for autism. The went through 40-80 treatment sessions. Their behavioral aspects improved and reactions enhanced. 

  1. Reduced Inflammation

Similar to hypoperfusion, inflammation is also observed in the brain of autistic children. Multiple studies have evaluated cerebral spinal fluid to understand the occurrence of neuroinflammation. However, scientists believe that this inflammation is not necessarily a result of prenatal development. This neuroinflammation is an ongoing activity in autistic children, which involves both astroglia and microglia. 

As a result of neuroinflammation in autistic children, edema is caused in the brain. This means that the spacing between individual cells increases, which leads to an increase in the brain fluid. 

Hyperbaric treatment for autism has innate anti-inflammatory properties. This is because HBOT therapy allows the body to carry oxygen through cerebral spinal fluids to every cell and organ. This improves oxygenation in every site, which stimulates the healing of inflammation. According to the given study, HBOT therapy has the power to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body.

  1. Mitochondrial Dysfunction Aid

It is observed that children suffering from autism also suffer from mitochondrial dysfunction. The mitochondrial functioning in the body is necessary for cellular energy generation. If this function is not proper, then the individual can suffer from excessive fatigue. The impact on the molecular level is severe. It causes poor maintenance of chemical and electrical transmembrane, changes in electron transport, and decreased critical metabolites transport. Together these dysfunctions increase fatigue in the body. 

Hyperbaric therapy for autism can relieve symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction. In a different study conducted for 69 TBI patients, improvement in mitochondrial dysfunction was observed. Hence, this indicates that in ASD as well, HBOT therapy can help in relieving symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction. 

In a Wobbler Mouse study, it was found out that hyperbaric therapy can delay the onset of mitochondrial dysfunction. The mouse group that was not treated with HBOT had an earlier starting of mitochondrial dysfunction when compared to the mouse group that was treated. This again explains that HBOT can possibly improve mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain. 

  1. Relieve in Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is a natural process of our body, which contributes to aging. However, in the case of autism, oxidative stress unnaturally impacts the body and generates free radicals in the body. With an increase in free radicals, our body is not able to cope with the demand for antioxidants, which contributes to the generation of multiple disorders and symptoms.

HBOT therapy can help in improving the condition in case of oxidative stress as it increases the production of antioxidants. With an increase in antioxidants, the body can reduce free radicals. 

In a trial, 18 children suffering from autism were given hyperbaric therapy for autism. These children received 40 sessions either at 24% oxygen and 1.3 ATM or 100% oxygen and 1.5 ATM. In conclusion, it was found that 100% oxygen is safe and it helps in reducing oxidative stress in the body.  


Hyperbaric therapy for autism can reveal favorable outcomes in the case of children, such as decreased inflammation, cerebral perfusion, and oxidative stress. With overall improvement in these markers, behavioral improvements are observed. However, proper consultation from a medical professional is imperative. Therefore, reach out to a doctor before purchasing a hyperbaric therapy chamber for autism.


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