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    You are here : Home » About MS » Multiple Sclerosis Treatments » Complementary Therapies » High Dose Oxygen Therapy

    High Dose Oxygen Therapy

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    High Dose Oxygen TherapyHigh Dose Oxygen Therapy (HDOT) involves breathing through a mask whilst inside a pressurised chamber, similar to that used in diving. A higher concentration of oxygen than normal saturates your blood and tissue.

    By breathing pure oxygen whilst under increased air pressure, many people find relief from their symptoms. The treatment may also help in slowing down the progression of the disease. Oxygen is the healing element in the atmosphere and breathing 100% oxygen under pressure allows the extra oxygen to be absorbed into the tissue, which repairs the damaged tissue before it becomes scarred. It is the scar tissue, which prevents messages getting from the brain to the limbs etc. causing disability.

    Centres around the UK were set up a number of years ago through the initiative of the charity ARMS, the first one being in Dundee in 1983. There are now approximately sixty MS Therapy Centres throughout the UK.

    Research from countries such as the USA, Russia, Argentina and Italy shows that oxygen therapy can help people who have Multiple Sclerosis. There are a lot more anecdotal reports that suggest it is particularly beneficial for people with fatigue and bladder problems.

    The centres started by designing their operations using information from a controlled clinical trial conducted in New York between 1980 and 1982. The results of the trial indicated both an improvement in symptoms and some protection from deterioration in more than half the people treated.

    Results of subsequent studies in Great Britain and abroad varied from at worst ‘no obvious change’ to a variety of positive changes. Many of the British centres have been providing the therapy continuously for many years.

    In that time they have safely provided thousands of individual sessions to people with MS and in recent years, have also treated people with other conditions such as gangrene, children with cerebral palsy and injured sportsmen and women.

    It is an easy therapy, although it does require going to the centre regularly, usually 3-4 times per week initially. The chamber is usually shared with a few other people, depending on the size of the chamber. A treatment plan usually consists of a course of around 20 or so sessions, each one lasting an hour, spread over the course of a month. These are followed by “top-up” sessions, which may vary from once a week to once a month.

    You can read, knit, play cards whilst inside and it is easy to communicate with the operator at any time. All Operators are skilled and fully trained, have access to a Specialist Medical Advisor and a manual to which they work. The therapy does not provide a cure but many people benefit from a reduction in the severity of their symptoms and an improved quality of life.

    HDOT seems to offer some people effective help from symptoms such as fatigue, poor balance and mobility, sensory perception difficulties, incontinence and in some cases speech problems. A note is sent to your GP so that records will include the use of the therapy. Also the GP will be asked whether you may have a contra-indicated condition like emphysema for example. Much more detailed information will be provided by the centre.

    To find your nearest MS Therapy Centre where Oxygen Therapy is available, please see our Therapy Centres Page or contact the MSRC office on 01206 226500 or 0800 783 0518.

    Josephs Court, MS Centre Of Excellence Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Workshop 05/09/12

    The Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Trust

    The Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Trust, a not-for-profit, international organisation has just launched a website with the aim of becoming a global resource for the public and medical professionals. The Directors at Castle Craig, one of Europe's leading rehab clinics have created the online resource on behalf of the Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Trust (HBOTT) to promote the latest news and research in this fast developing treatment.

    Researchers from Edinburgh University are already studying the effect of Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) on alcoholic liver disease and stem cell mobilisation at Castle Craig Hospital in the Scottish Borders and the new website is now gathering international research on the subject for a global audience.

    Divers suffering from 'the bends' have long been treated in pressurised oxygen chambers and medical staff at Castle Craig are using similar treatments to promote healing, particularly in liver and brain damage.

    The new website gives a full overview of hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) which sees patients breathing 100% oxygen at elevated pressure to help aid cancer treatment and boost healing for disorders ranging from cardiovascular disease to MRSA and brain injuries including post traumatic stress disorder. It also provides the latest news and research from around the globe on the treatment, and aims to become the first port of call for medics and interested researchers to find out about developments in the field.

    Castle Craig Hospital Chairman Peter McCann, founded the HBOTT and commissioned Channel 6 to create the website as a resource for the public and medical professionals. He said: "HBOT is a new type of therapy offered at Castle Craig – our own research is still in the early stages and, as far as I am aware, no other clinics or hospitals treating addictions in the UK are offering this treatment. The HBOTT is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to become a definitive online resource on HBOT for the public and medical professionals and we seek to promote further research into the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

    “There are many medical professionals out there who don’t know about HBOT though increasingly doctors are looking at the research and growing number of case studies and realising its potential. It would take people a long time to trawl the internet for this amount of information themselves and so we decided to set up a website where people can find all the information they need in one place.”

    Victoria McCann, communications manager for the HBOTT, said: “We needed a website where patients and medical professionals could easily access news articles, research and guidance on the treatment, and we are very pleased with what Channel 6 has delivered to us. We will be using the website to update information on an ongoing basis to make sure the newest research on HBOT is accessible to all.”

    Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

    Patients spend on average 60 minutes at a time in the chamber during the painless and relaxing treatment, which allows ten times the normal amount of oxygen to be dissolved in the bloodstream. The oxygen boost can help white blood cells kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into damaged tissue.

    Patients at Castle Craig are using the treatment to ease alcohol and drug withdrawal symptoms, and University of Edinburgh researchers aim to discover if HBOT increases stem cell production and thus speeds their recovery from liver disease. The hyperbaric chamber is also being used by members of the public wishing to aid recovery from disorders ranging from brain cell damage to healing wounds and elementary symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

    For more information on the Hyperbaric Treatment Trust please visit and for more information on Castle Craig Hospital please go to

    © Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC)

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