Imagine the profound impact of a mild traumatic brain injury on a child. It’s a harrowing reality faced by many families, as such injuries can often lead to persistent post-concussion syndrome (PPCS). This distressing condition manifests in various ways, including headaches, dizziness, sleep disturbances, concentration and memory difficulties, mood and anxiety issues, and a struggle to cope with school or exercise. For children, PPCS can cast a long shadow over their development and well-being.

However, a glimmer of hope emerges from the realm of medical research. A groundbreaking study focused on children aged 8 to 15, who had been grappling with PPCS for up to a decade, reveals a remarkable discovery: the straightforward administration of 60 hyperbaric oxygen sessions can substantially enhance both cognitive and behavioral functions in these young patients.

Conquering the Challenges of Persistent Post-Concussion Syndrome (PPCS)

Persistent post-concussion syndrome (PPCS) is a sobering and prevalent consequence of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) among children. Regrettably, the evidence supporting effective PPCS treatments for this vulnerable group remains scarce. Families and medical professionals have been in search of answers, and a glimmer of hope has emerged in the form of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

The Power of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Recent studies have demonstrated the promising effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in treating PPCS in adult patients. However, a critical question lingered: could HBOT also offer relief to children grappling with PPCS stemming from mild to moderate TBI events, which occurred anywhere from six months to a staggering 10 years in the past?

Unlocking the Potential of HBOT in Pediatric PPCS

To answer this question, a randomized, sham-control, double-blind trial was conducted. This groundbreaking study sought to evaluate the impact of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on children aged 8 to 15 who were battling PPCS resulting from mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries that had occurred years prior.

The Astonishing Results

The outcomes of the study left researchers astounded. Children who underwent 60 daily sessions of HBOT experienced significant improvements in various domains:

  • Cognitive Function: Notably, there was a remarkable boost in general cognitive scores, memory, and executive function. These enhancements offer a glimmer of hope for children grappling with cognitive challenges.
  • Symptom Relief: PPCS symptoms, including emotional struggles, significantly improved. The study revealed a reduction in emotional scores, indicating enhanced emotional well-being among the young participants.
  • Behavioral Enhancements: Children undergoing HBOT also demonstrated positive changes in behavior. Hyperactivity diminished, and global executive composite scores, as well as planning and organizing skills, showcased marked improvements.

Beyond the Mind: Unveiling the Transformative Power of HBOT

The study ventured beyond behavioral and cognitive improvements. It unveiled significant enhancements in brain MRI microstructural changes in several critical brain regions, including the insula, supramarginal, lingual, inferior frontal, and fusiform gyri. These findings hint at the profound impact of HBOT at the neurological level.


In essence, this pioneering study illuminates the potential of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in redefining the lives of pediatric PPCS patients, even years after their initial injuries. HBOT emerges as a beacon of hope, offering not only cognitive and behavioral improvements but also enhanced quality of life for these young warriors. While more data is required to fine-tune the treatment protocol and identify the children who can benefit most, the journey towards hope and healing has unquestionably begun.


Hadanny, A. (2022, September 23). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in children with post-concussion syndrome improves cognitive and behavioral function: a randomized controlled trial. National Library of Medicine.