The recent study from Boston University School of Medicine, the Boston Veterans Administration, and the Concussion Legacy Foundation demonstrated that in the majority of cases, brains of former professional football players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
Although the numbers are limited, it appears that the chance of developing CTE is greater with the more years a person plays football. Therefore, the study does conclusively link football to CTE.
Up till now, it has been widely believed that there was no way to diagnose CTE prior to autopsy examination of the brain.
But in my experience, that this is not true. We now have the single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scanning technique that can objectively show brain malfunctions.
There is also another developing technology called MRI fusion scanning, which has been reported to show brain function.
But I have not yet seen a study comparing SPECT brain scans to the MRI function technique.
The other gap I see in the research on CTE is no mention of the value of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in treatment of concussion injuries.
My experience and that of many others is that HBOT can significantly reverse the complications of CTE. And we do know that the brain can regenerate.
For instance, SPECT brain scans have documented brain injuries in patients who were told — based on CT and MRI scans — that their symptoms were psychological.
Repeated SPECT brain scans after treatment with HBOT demonstrated marked improvement in brain function, objectively documenting clinical improvement with the therapy.
Unfortunately, the website of the Concussion Legacy Foundation has no mention of the value of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treating concussions, nor data on the ability of the SPECT brain scans to document abnormal brain function after concussion and other injuries to the brain.
This lack of data supports my theory that HBOT remains one of the best-kept medical secrets out there. It’s time we made better use of it.
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