April 18, 2013

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
(HBOT) | Healing for Mitochondria &
  ..."the Tent"
"Goodnight Caroline"
   "Goodnight Mom"
"We had a good day today!
First, we woke up.  Then what?"
      "Reanin came"
Yes, and then we went to the store and you...
  "Rode on the cart"
And then we came home and what did we do?
 "Wash the car"
And then what?
      "Bike ride"
Where did you go?
     "To the park"
Who went with you?
And then where did you go with Dad?
        "In the tent"
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Select Supplements for Mitochondria Support

Magnesium Malate: a component of the citric acid
cycle that functions to supply magnesium, which
activates many enzymes in the cycle. It also supplies
malic acid, which acts as an antioxidant, as well as being
an active factor in producing a reduced, active
coenzyme form of vitamin B-3 (NADH).

Alpha Ketoglutarate: in buffered form: another
component of the cycle involved in producing NADH. It
also is involved in forming bicarbonate and in countering
excess ammonia in the cells.

Acetyl L-Carnitine: a stable, active form of a transport
molecule that is required for the mitochondrial process
of converting fatty acids into energy. It also has a
protective effect.

Lysine: involved in carnitine production through a
methylation process involving S-adenosylmethionine
(SAMe). This, along with the added acetyl L-carnitine
above, should help ensure adequate levels of carnitine.
Cobamamide: the coenzyme form of vitamin B-12
chemically described as 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin. It
acts in cell mitochondria in converting methylmalonate
(MMA) into succinate.

Biotin: a B vitamin cofactor necessary for balanced
metabolism in the cell, which is also a key component of
the citric acid cycle.

Manganese: an activator of the citric acid cycle enzyme
that promotes formation of alpha-ketoglutarate.

Thiamine (vitamin B-1): becomes a coenzyme that
assists the conversion of carbohydrates into chemical
fuel for the citric acid cycle.

Riboflavin (vitamin B-2): becomes another coenzyme
in the cycle that assists energy supplies for
mitochondrial energy processes.

Coenzyme Q10: necessary for cell function and life. It is
involved in the production of cell energy.

Vitamin E: an antioxidant-preserving compound that
protects cell membranes from oxidation.

From: Kirkman Labs: Mito Cell Support

Read more on HBOT:

A Primer of Hyperbaric Therapy for Parents
To know Caroline is to know maintaining focus can be a challenge.  
Exchanges like the above, which went on for over 5 minutes, can fully
recharge your faith in finding recovery.  We talked about school and her
teachers and her favorite class.... music!   That night, after a session in the
hyperbaric chamber, the words and attention came almost effortlessly.   

You see, HBOT uses pressure to improve cerebral blood flow and deliver
oxygen to cells.  In turn, the cells are charged with super-healing abilities.  
From "
Autism and HBOT," some of the effects of include:

  • Greater production of antioxidant enzymes.
  • The growth of additional blood vessels in tissues and organs.
  • Increased oxygenation of the mitochondria.
  • Greater production of ROS (reactive oxygen species).
  • Reduction of systemic and gastrointestinal viruses.
  • Increase in the production of stem cells.

HBOT can also positively affect the immune system by improving natural
killer cell function.   It can reduce inflammatory conditions such as
ulcerative colitis, other bowel diseases, and even PANDAS - by reducing
inflammation in the basal ganglia.   In addition to all of that, it has been
shown to increase glutathione levels as much as 15%, which aids in

Parents report HBOT helps with receptive and expressive language,
attention, focus, cognition, calmness, bowel function, sensory issues,
behaviors, socialization and sleep.  

The sheer number of benefits quite understandably may seem too good to
be true.  You can almost picture a unit featured on a late-night infomercial
as you sit with your wine glass in one hand and phone in the other, ready
to dial 1-888-HBOT-4ME!  

With Caroline, her language is the most obvious change, however we have
observed all of the mentioned benefits to a certain extent.  In fact, we could
devote an entire blog to each one of the areas HBOT can improve.   For
today however, we're turning the attention to mitochondria.  

Mito and Autism and HBOT...

Mitochondria are the cellular power plants in our the bodies.  They make
ATP molecules which release energy, create electrical pulses in nerves and
much more.  
TACA tells us, "It doesn’t take much to knock mitochondria
off-line and then that cell can’t perform the job it was assigned.  So, be it
oxygen deprivation, external toxic exposure, or a hyper-immune reaction
to an infection or a vaccine the mitochondria will be damaged."

Sound familiar?  It's no surprise that a majority of our children respond
to supplements and treatments proven to support the
mitochondria.  If you need supplement suggestions, screening labs, or
more information, please see the column to the right.  

In our community, there is a great deal of talk both about mitochondria
and about HBOT.  Interestingly though, they are not discussed together as
often as it seems they should be.  The research is strong - HBOT sessions
revive the mitochondria, helping the body to function properly.   In fact, in
this study, it was found that "HBOT significantly ameliorates mitochondrial
dysfunction in the motor cortex and spinal cord and greatly delays the
onset of the disease in an animal model of motor neuron disease."

So, whether your child has mito dysfunction or any of the other myriad of
issues HBOT can help with, it may be worth a try.  The only real downers
are that it's expensive and inconvenient -- and unfortunately for most
families, two substantial negatives.  

Regarding Caroline...

We began mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy when she was almost 4 years
old   She completed approximately 80 hours at a rate of 5-6 hours per
week.   That's a lot of time to spend in a "tent!"  After those hours, we took
a break.  We had begun Andy Cutler chelation and it was hard to control
yeast doing both.

Some parents report that yeast improves with HBOT.  Others, however,
notice that it becomes worse.  Unfortunately, Caroline falls in the latter
category.  Which means we have another drawback:  
Flares Yeast.  

Still, for us, the positives far outweigh the negatives.  It was after an initial
HBOT session that she asked her first WH question.  We'll never forget it.  
She went to the office and noticed her Dad was not there.  As easily as
words can come, "Daddy?  Where is Daddy?" rolled off her tongue.   We
were hooked!

When she was 5 1/2, we began using the HBOT more consistently again.  
We saw the same benefits as before and continue to use it 3 times per
week.   The chamber we have is a soft, in-home unit and she's always very
excited to chill with Dad in the "tent" because it means a solid hour of iPad

Soon, we plan to try a hard, non-portable chamber to determine if there are
additional benefits.   A hard chamber offers higher pressure and increased
oxygen concentration.  Of course, it also adds driving time to the list of
inconveniences.... but for improved language, attention, and focus.... ask any
autism parent, we'd likely drive to the ends of the earth.
From Mitoaction.org:
Clinical Study: Mild Hyperbarics for
Impaired Brain Function
by Dr. Gunnar Heuser, MD, PhD, FACP
< Only recently, she began riding the cart like a
scooter.... the little things that you thought you
would never celebrate are sometimes the
greatest victories of all!