July 11, 2021

New Research Initiates Use of Hyperbaric Chambers For Neurological and Psychological Research

hyperbaric chamber

New Research Initiates Use of Hyperbaric Chambers For Neurological and Psychological Research

The intended purpose for an advanced medical hyperbaric chamber would be in oxygen therapy and decompression treatments. Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) is simple defined as filling the entire body with pure oxygen while inside an enclosed tube pressurized to higher than atmospheric pressure. There are two types of hyperbaric chambers - one with a high pressure and the other with a low one. The low pressure chamber can be found in dental chairs, hangars, aircraft and even some automobiles. High-pressure chambers are used in hospitals, military, disaster relief sites and pilot training schools.

A hyperbaric chamber in home treatment is the same as that used in the dentist's office. The only difference is that here the air source is different and not necessarily coming from a pressurized source. An aspirator, tank and tubing are placed in the middle of the chamber, and the air cleaner and an oxygen generator to complete the setup. When a patient is admitted to a hospital, the physician opens the hatch door and begins filling the chamber with oxygen, via tubes inserted through plastic flaps in the walls.

For home hyperbaric chamber application, the identical components are used, albeit in a smaller version. The tanks hold a pre-determined volume of oxygen - the typical tank in a dental chair holds ten pounds of oxygen. The tubes connect the tanks to the compressor, which fills the chamber with pressurized air. The final step in the setup is the air cooler, which is connected directly to the air source. External pressure changes the internal pressure to keep the environment at the set level. A technician then fills the chamber with room temperature water and begins the pressurized process.

The efficiency of hyperbaric oxygen therapies depends on a number of factors. One factor is the quality of the test systems. Hyperbaric chambers can vary significantly from those utilized in hospitals, to those used at home. In order to evaluate the overall efficiency of the system, five years of evaluations by a leading clinical research organization were conducted.

The evaluation criteria were established to test the capacity of the system to provide oxygen therapy while maintaining pressure levels consistent with those required for normal breathing. An important factor was to determine whether there would be a decrease in oxygen consumption as a result of increased pressure. Another important factor was to test the capability of the system to maintain the pre-determined oxygen level throughout the length of the test. Lastly, the five years of data were evaluated to establish a baseline against which performance measurements could be compared.

Based on the results of the evaluations, the Hyperbaric Chamber Company was selected to perform the final testing. During these tests, chamber efficiency was found to be quite good with an average efficiency of more than 90%. An additional benefit from these final evaluations was to determine whether the chamber pressure needed to provide hyperbaric chamber treatment for severe asthma could be reduced. During the first two years of the project, the company performed five long term studies to evaluate the effects of a completely different hyperbaric chamber design on the ability to treat patients with severe asthma. In the final study, the investigators determined that a lower pressure was required for asthmatic patients to achieve the same therapeutic effects as those using a traditional pressurized inhaler. This finding, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in May 2021, led to the approval of the new lower pressure design for use with a hyperbaric oxygen generator.

The hyperbaric chamber technology was licensed to a number of pharmaceutical and Biotechnology organizations. As of February 2021, it has been reported that two new drugs have been manufactured in hyperbaric chamber facilities: Rembrandt and Sarepta. Both drugs are being tested on pediatric patients with severe asthma. One of the drugs, Vyvanse, is being evaluated for its effectiveness in treating cystic fibrosis and other respiratory disorders. The second drug, Orlistat, is being evaluated for its possible effect on ulcerative colitis. Based on the additional cost of the hyperbaric chamber equipment and the specific color requirement for Orlistat, it is estimated that it will take approximately three years for Vyvanse and three years for Orlistat to reach the market for medical use.

Although hyperbaric chamber therapy is not new, many of the technical aspects have only been recently refined to the point where they are highly effective. The improved methods allow for higher pressures to be achieved throughout the entire length of the hyperbaric chamber treatment, making the chamber less expensive to operate. Also, the design allows for greater color flexibility. There are no limitations on the depth or width of the images that can be displayed in the chamber, which means that the potential use of hyperbaric chambers for neurological and psychological research is growing exponentially.

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