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Soldiers with mild traumatic brain injuries and post-concussion syndrome are being offered the opportunity to participate in a Department of Defense study on the medical effects of breathing oxygen inside a pressurized chamber, known as hyperbaric oxygen. This study is underway at Fort Carson and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Those with mTBI who have post-concussive symptoms such as headaches, dizziness or memory problems are being recruited to participate in the Brain Injury Mechanisms of Action study to determine if hyperbaric oxygen would be an effective treatment, said Laura Crews, a registered nurse clinical research coordinator at Madigan Healthcare Systems TBI Program.
Study participants will be randomly assigned to either be a part of a control group who will breathe room air or a part of a group that will breathe pure oxygen while inside a pressurized chamber.
Eligible Soldiers are active duty, Guard or Reserve Soldiers who are planning to stay on active duty for at least six more months.
Soldiers joining the study will sign up for a significant time commitment, Crews said. Each participant will get a baseline screening at the TBI clinic here, will participate in 40 hyperbaric oxygen chamber sessions at the TBI clinic, and will travel to Fort Carson, Colo., for three, weeklong trips for medical testing before, midway and after hyperbaric oxygen sessions to assess response in symptoms, memory and balance testing, and brain imaging. This study is part of a program of research studies being conducted by a consortium from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Veterans Affairs and academic medical centers. For more information on the study, Soldiers can visit the TBI clinic at Madigan.