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The use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The theory behind using HBOT for ASD is based on the premise that increasing the oxygen levels in the body can help reduce inflammation, improve brain function, and alleviate symptoms associated with autism. 

Enhancing Oxygenation

HBOT increases the amount of oxygen that can be dissolved in the blood and delivered to body tissues. For individuals with ASD, enhanced oxygenation may aid in the repair and function of brain tissue, potentially improving cognitive functions and reducing symptoms associated with ASD. By increasing oxygen delivery to the brain, HBOT may help in stabilizing neurological function and promoting a state of calmness.

Reducing Inflammation

Inflammation in the brain is a factor that has been associated with ASD. HBOT can exert anti-inflammatory effects, which may help in reducing neuroinflammation and consequently improve neurological function in individuals with ASD. By mitigating inflammation, HBOT may contribute to a more balanced nervous system response, encouraging the body to shift towards the parasympathetic nervous system dominance, which is responsible for the "rest and digest" activities, thus promoting relaxation and calmness.

Modulating the Nervous System

The parasympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system responsible for regulating the body's unconscious actions and is crucial for maintaining homeostasis. It helps to slow down the heart rate, increase intestinal and gland activity, and relax sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. Through the potential reduction of inflammation and enhancement of oxygenation, HBOT may help in modulating the nervous system's activity, encouraging a shift towards parasympathetic dominance. This shift can result in a calming effect, reducing anxiety and improving the overall quality of life for individuals with ASD.

Supporting Neuroplasticity

HBOT has been suggested to support neuroplasticity—the brain's ability to form new connections and pathways—which can be beneficial for learning and adaptation. For individuals with ASD, improved neuroplasticity may contribute to better coping mechanisms in response to stress and a more regulated emotional response, further supporting a calm and balanced nervous system.

Edited Image 2015-9-10-11:15:21
Edited Image 2015-9-10-11:15:50
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