Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

By Lisa St. John, M.S.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) has a lifelong impact for children, their families and our communities.

While we have numerous studies showing the value of HBOT on autism, concussion, PTSD, strokes, brain neuroplasticity, traumatic brain injury and sports injuries, we have seen few on the value of HTOT on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

However, in a recent study, Dr. Kenneth Stoller chronicled that a boy with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder showed dramatic improvements as a result of HBOT. Dr. Stoller published his case study of reversing FASD in a 15 year old boy in the Journal of Pediatrics in 2005. Note that the Journal of Pediatrics is one of the most revered journals on childhood medical research in the country.

The boy in this study was found, “abandoned in a train station in Rustrov, Russia, as a toddler and subsequently adopted and brought to the United States.” After having received HBOT treatments, this boy showed significant increases in his verbal memory. Moreover, his impulse control scores improved dramatically, and his reaction times improved radically.

Several studies document that HBOT improves neuroplasticity in the brain, so perhaps it should be no surprise that it increased neuroplasticity in this boy. In fact, the case study shows dramatic improvements after 40 hyperbaric treatments, where the doctor conducted computer administered tests pre and post HBOT.

The boy was tested before re-ceiving HBOT, right after HBOT, and 6 months after the end of 40 treatments:

Verbal memory composite:

  • Pre-HBOT 55%,
  • Post-40 HBOT 73%,
  • Six months later 73%

Verbal memory composite scores six months after his 40 hyperbaric treatments was better than the high school mean, which is 87.49% (SD: 9%)

Impulse control composite:

  • Pre-HBOT 8.00,
  • Post-40 HBOT 5.00,
  • Six months later 2.00

Impulse control composite scores six months after his 40 hyperbaric treatments was better than the high school mean, which was 9.51 (SD: 8.68)

Reaction time composite:

  • Pre-HBOT 1.03,
  • Post-40 HBOT 0.53,
  • Six months later 0.66

Reaction time composite at six months after 40 hyperbaric treatments was better than the high school mean of 0.56 (SD: 0.08)

In addition to these noteworthy results, Dr. Stoller showed that most of the improvements endured for 6 months after the end of the 40 hyperbaric treatments.

This shows a desperate need for more studies on FASD and hyperbaric medicine.

Dr. Stoller told me and a group of supporters that he expected people to be angry or call him a liar or challenge his data collection or analysis. But what he never expected was resounding silence. There was no response of his study in the pediatric community at all. It seems that we have an opportunity for additional research to improve the lives of children, families, and our communities.

Lisa St. John, M.S.
Lisa St. John, M.S.
Clinic Director and Founder

Lisa is our Clinic Director and Founder. She earned her Master’s degree from Harvard University, completed a Fellowship at Stanford University, and has spent the last 30 years working in the healthcare field.

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