The effects of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) on eye movement abnormalities in 60 military servicemembers with at least one mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) from combat were examined in a single-center, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled, prospective study at the Naval Medicine Operational Training Center. During the 10 wk of the study, each subject was delivered a series of 40, once a day, hyperbaric chamber compressions at a pressure of 2.0 atmospheres absolute (ATA). At each session, subjects breathed one of three preassigned oxygen fractions (10.5%, 75%, or 100%) for 1 h, resulting in an oxygen exposure equivalent to breathing either surface air, 100% oxygen at 1.5 ATA, or 100% oxygen at 2.0 ATA, respectively. Using a standardized, validated, computerized eye tracking protocol, fixation, saccades, and smooth pursuit eye movements were measured just prior to intervention and immediately postintervention. Between- and within-groups testing of pre- and postintervention means revealed no significant differences on eye movement abnormalities and no significant main effect for HBO2 at either 1.5 ATA or 2.0 ATA equivalent compared with the sham-control. This study demonstrated that neither 1.5 nor 2.0 ATA equivalent HBO2 had an effect on postconcussive eye movement abnormalities after mTBI when compared with a sham-control.
Copyright © 2014 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This article first appeared in Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 51:7 (2014), 1047-1056.
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Wares, Joanna R., David X. Cifu, Kathy W. Hoke, Paul A. Wetzel, George Gitchel, and William Carne. "Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen on Eye Tracking Abnormalities in Males after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury." Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 51, no. 7 (2014): 1047-1056. doi:10.1682/JRRD.2014.01.0013.