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Sheridan Healthcare, Inc., a hospital-based, multispecialty physician services company, has announced it is partnering with Jupiter Medical Center and football legend Joe Namath on a clinical trial to study the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treating traumatic brain injury. The trial will be conducted through the recently-opened Joe Namath Neurological Research Center at Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, Fla.
After sustaining multiple concussions playing 13 seasons of professional football with the New York Jets, Namath was encouraged by his personal friend Dr. Lee Fox, a Sheridan Healthcare Radiology Medical Director, to try hyperbaric oxygen treatment at Jupiter Medical Center. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy—which involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber—stimulates the healing process by allowing increased oxygen flow to an injured area.
After reportedly “seeing improvements in Namath’s brain function, sleep, cognition and memory function,” Dr. Fox and Dr. Barry Miskin, chief of surgery at Jupiter Medical Center, developed a protocol for using hyperbaric oxygen therapy for TBI and received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to launch a clinical trial. Namath has committed to raise $10 million in support of the trial.
“I sustained my share of concussions playing pro football, and had recently experienced some concerns such as fatigue and decreased cognition. Also, the 2012 suicide of star linebacker Junior Seau of the San Diego Chargers left a lasting impression on me when I learned that it may have been caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease often a result of multiple concussions. So together with Jupiter Medical Center, the Joe Namath Neurological Research Center was created to help those currently suffering, and to potentially prevent others from enduring the debilitating long-term effects of TBI,” said Namath.
“We are thrilled to have received FDA approval to move forward in conducting this study that may lead to a treatment option for athletes and others struggling with TBI,” said Dr. Fox. “Having Joe’s support is a huge boon to both the financial needs of the research and to the visibility of our work. We hope his support will lead to a successful outcome for our study and more research in the area of TBI.”
The Army Times has reported that a study suggests that Oxygen therapy is no better than a placebo for treating post-concussion syndrome.
“New research finds that oxygen therapy, administered in the same type of pressurized chamber used to treat scuba divers for decompression sickness, works no better than compressed air for treating troops with lingering symptoms of concussion,” according to the media outlet.
The aforementioned study was reported in JAMA Internal Medicine. “In research involving 72 service members with chronic post-concussive symptoms, physicians found that patients who received a series of 40 oxygen therapy treatments in a pressurized hyperbaric chamber did see significant improvements in their symptoms — but so did those who were treated with slightly pressurized regular air in a chamber,” according to the Army Times.
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