FDA Validates CARD Study Disputing the Effectiveness of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on Individuals with Autism

We salute the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for increasing consumer awareness of the ineffectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy  (HBOT) as a treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The FDA released a report on Aug. 22, 2013, stating that “HBOT has not been clinically proven to cure or be effective in the treatment of autism, cancer, or diabetes, nor has it been approved by FDA.”

CARD published “Randomized Trial Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Children With Autism” in the April-June 2010 issue of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. The study was conducted by Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D.; Jonathan Tarbox, Ph.D.; Dennis R. Dixon, Ph.D.; Arthur E. Wilke; Michael S. Allen, Psy.D.; and James Jeffrey Bradstreet, M.D. The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that HBOT would have a beneficial effect on ASD symptoms in the context of a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. This randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial compared HBOT used to deliver 24% oxygen at 1.3 atmospheric pressure (n = 18) to placebo (n = 16) in children with ASD. Both direct observational measures of behaviors symptomatic of autism and standardized psychological assessments were used to evaluate the effects of the treatment. The study concluded there were no differences between HBOT and placebo groups and demonstrated that HBOT delivered at 24% oxygen at 1.3 atmospheric pressure does not result in a clinically-significant improvement of the symptoms of ASD.

The full text of “Randomized Trial Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Children With Autism” is available online at www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1750946709001007.

“We wanted to conduct this study because of the sudden interest by parents of children with autism who believed HBOT may be an effective form of treatment for autism,” says Dr. Granpeesheh, CARD Founder/CEO. “At the time, very few proposed treatments had actually received such a rigorous scientific investigation as ours. We applaud the FDA for its recent statement as we believe it is important for consumers to understand which forms of treatment for autism are the most effective in helping their children reach their highest potential.”

CARD is one of the world’s largest and most effective autism treatment providers offering evidence-based, state-of-the-art services to individuals of all ages. CARD is also the nation’s third largest non-governmental organization contributing to autism research. In August 2009, CARD researchers published “Retrospective Analysis of Clinical Records in 38 Cases of Recovery from Autism” in the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, showing that recovery from autism is possible with early, intensive intervention using ABA.

The FDA reports having received 27 complaints from consumers and healthcare professionals over the past three years about treatment centers promoting the hyperbaric chamber for uses not cleared by the agency.