Encephalitis and HBOT

Encephalitis simply means brain inflammation. The inflammatory reaction not only damages tissue, but also the microcirculation small arteries capillaries and particularly small veins. The damage to the blood supply is the main determinant of recovery because of oxygen transport limitation.

The result is that brain tissue can remain in suspended animation "not dead but sleeping" - simply because of the increased tissue water - edema - chronically preventing adequate oxygenation. The best analogy is a comparison with an electrical device.
Imagine coupling a transistor radio - which requires a 9-volt battery to a 6-volt battery - it simply will not work - even if the six-volt battery is capable of delivering thousands of amperes - like a submarine battery.

There is nowhere on the surface of this planet that breathing air the oxygen level (voltage) in plasma can exceed about 100 (mm Hg).

In a hyperbaric chamber breathing pure oxygen, the level can be increased to over 2000 (mm Hg). This simple and completely scientific explanation for the need for hyperbaric conditions is UNKNOWN to the overwhelming majority of physicians - hence oxygen is not properly used.

Neurologists have recognized the need for oxygen. Three of the most eminent neurologists/neurosurgeons of the 80's stated in relation to the ischemic penumbra.

"Presumably the critical parameter for tissue function is oxygen availability rather than blood flow." Using hyperbaric conditions allows a decoupling of blood flow and oxygen transport.

Astrup J, Siesjo BK, Symon L. "Thresholds in cerebral ischemia -the ischemic penumbra." Stroke 1981;12:723-725.
Therefore, if we are to discover if there is recoverable brain tissue we need to reoxygenate. Dr Richard Neubauer has used SPECT imaging to demonstrate this effect and the work is published e.g. Lancet March 3 1990.

Dr Philip James M.D.

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