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Hyperbaric oxygen chambers for traumatic brain injury treatment

When former Jets quarterback Joe Namath played football in the 1960s and 1970s, safety equipment such as helmets wasn't nearly as sophisticated as it is today. The medical knowledge about concussions wasn't as detailed as it is today, either.

Namath said, "I think all of us that played the game had gotten our bell rung, so to speak. That's what they say, ‘you just got your bell rung, you'll be alright.' There (were) some times that I didn't know exactly where I was."

Namath said that he was becoming forgetful and many of the men he played with are struggling. As a result, Namath and doctors in Florida at the Jupiter Medical Center are teaming up to see if hyperbaric oxygen chambers can be used to treat traumatic brain injuries.

Patients who suffer from chronic brain injuries that are over a year old are being recruited. The men and women will be put in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber five days a week for an hour at a time. According to one of the doctors, "Hyperbaric oxygen works in many ways. It increases stem cells almost eight fold so they can go and heal the area. It starts new blood vessel growth, new blood vessels start growing. It decreases inflammation in the area and helps the energy cells."

Before and after the volunteers spend time in the high pressure oxygen chambers, they will have to undergo neurocognitive testing and brain scans. This will help determine and validate improvements. Namath has been in the chamber 120 times. He said that his scans and tests have improved, and that he knows it has helped him.

After this clinical trial is complete after 100 patients, then it will be expanded to 1,000 centers across the nation.

Traumatic brain injuries occur in a number of different ways, such as in car accidents or falls. When treatment is needed, it can be expensive. If you have suffered a TBI due to someone else's negligence or recklessness, you may have a claim for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. A lawyer can help you learn more about your legal options for seeking compensation.

Source: newyork.cbslocal.com, "‘I Know It Helped Me,’ Joe Namath Touts Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers In Treating Brain Injuries," Feb. 01, 2017

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