Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering

Study Information

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for post-concussive symptoms (PCS) after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI): A randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled, variable dose, prospective trail

Funding source: 
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Defense Sciences Office (DSO)

David Cifu

David Cifu
(804) 828-4231

Persistent post-concussive symptoms from mild traumatic brain injury are a severe issue facing the readiness, retention and quality of life of DoD service members and Veterans. The inadequacy of established treatment regimens and evidence-based science in PCS/MTBI is forcing a closer look at non-conventional treatments of this condition. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) is a potent intervention with demonstrated efficacy in dive-related injuries, soft tissue healing, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Research trials in humans with acute, severe TBI have been inconclusive. No scientifically rigorous research has been published in acute mild or moderate TBI or chronic TBI of any severity. HBO2 requires the placement of patients within pressurized chambers and exposes patients to adverse side effects, although the rate of serious side effects is low. Currently, there is inadequate support for the use of HBO2 in acute or chronic management of individuals with TBI at this time. The goal of this research is to serve as a demonstration project to determine the tolerability of individuals with persistent post-concussive symptoms from combat-related mild TBI, identify dose-finding for HBO2 therapy, and determine the efficacy of HBO2 therapy.