Oxygen is a necessity for life — to transfer energy from food into a usable form and to perform vital functions throughout the body. More than 100 years ago, a hyperbaric chamber — an enclosed space with high concentrations of oxygen at higher than atmospheric pressure — was first used in the U.S. for medical purposes.
“Through hyperbaric therapy and behavior therapy, we’re helping children suffering from autism and other disabilities succeed and achieve real personal growth,” says Casey Diskin. “However, it’s important that we also give the parents of these children a place to meet and uplift one another. To help, I run a pair of support groups that meet each month in Michigan, either in Troy or in Brighton.”
In recent years, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been used outside the U.S. for additional conditions such as stroke recovery, autoimmune disorders and autism. In the U.S “off-label” use of HBOT for non-FDA-approved medical treatment is permitted by licensed physicians but may not be covered by insurance.
Casey Diskin and Stroke Recovery
Today, Oxford provides a broad range of treatments for children and adults at Brighton and Troy locations. One patient, folksinger Ron Coden, 78, of Huntington Woods, began HBOT five times a week after a serious stroke in January 2020, according to his daughter Casey Diskin, M.A., Oxford’s executive director of ARTS Autism Services.
“He wasn’t talking at all and his left side was numb,” Casey Diskin said. “He started hyperbaric, and it did amazing things for his speech and neurological issues.
“He is able to hold a conversation and sing. He continues to have maintenance once a week. This keeps up the oxygen level in the blood which supports stem cell production.”
Recent research indicates that the therapy may help slow down the aging process, as measured by the shortening of telomeres, the DNA protein structure at the end of each chromosome. A small portion of telomere DNA is lost through normal cell division and over time, telomeres become shorter and cells lose their ability to divide, resulting in aging.