Healthcare Journal of new orleans
MAY / JUN 2015
If they pass this stage, participants per-
form a full day of testing with a neuropsy-
chologist followed by a review and physi-
cal with Dr. Harch as well as screening for
pregnancy and drug and alcohol abuse.
From there, a computer randomizes the
participants into one of two groups.
If the participant is in the control group,
he returns home for eight weeks and lives
as usual without starting any new medi-
cations or therapies. At eight weeks, he
returns and does a repeat battery of testing
and then starts HBOT once a day, five days
a week, for eight weeks. After the 40 treat-
ments, the participant is examined by Dr.
Harch and then returns home for another
eight weeks. Finally, the participant returns
once more for cognitive testing and a visit
with Dr. Harch, and then the participant has
completed the study.
The other group also begins with full
testing with the neuropsychologist and Dr.
Harch, but instead of going home for eight
weeks, the participant starts HBOT right
away, the same eight-week treatment as
the control group. After the eight weeks, the
participant returns home for eight weeks,
returns for follow-up testing, and then is
done with the study.
No one in the study is given a placebo or
fake treatment, which some have contested
as being a kink in the research protocol.
However, Dr. Harch says that a placebo for
HBOT is currently unknown, as a physi-
cian has not been able to pretend to give a
patient pressurized oxygen without actually
doing so without the patient knowing. Dr.
Harch finds an argument for any placebo
effect to be highly unlikely.
After gathering all of the screening and
cognitive test results, Dr. Harch statistically
compares a participant’s status and levels
of symptoms, IQ, etc. from the beginning
of the study to immediately after HBOT. He
then again statistically analyzes symptom
results from the end of treatment to after
the eight weeks the participant returned
home to determine if the changes were
maintained once treatment was completed.
The primary comparison being made is
the results of no treatment versus treat-
ment. The goal is to see whether the HBOT
has the same result on both groups as well
as to assess the permanence of HBOT
treatment and whether the results dissi-
pate over time.
One study showed that hyperbaric oxygen
turned on and off specific genes that contribute
to tissue growth. The treatment was found
to turn on genes that code for growth and
repair hormones as well as anti-inflammatory
genes that quell inflammation in the body.
Simultaneously, the treatment suppresses and
turns off pro-inflammatory genes and the genes
that code for programmed cell death.
The stethoscope is invented
by R.T.H. Laennec.
The mercury thermometer is
created by Gabriel Fahrenheit.
Chest percussion becomes an
accepted diagnostic tool.