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Healthcare Journal of new orleans

I 

MAY / JUN 2015

25

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.

1714

The mercury thermometer is

created by Gabriel Fahrenheit.

1754

Chest percussion becomes an

accepted diagnostic tool.

1816

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