Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and Connective Tissue Disorders' started by Andy, Jun 16, 2018.
Open access at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00848/full
Crawley will be loving this one
Very strange. I wonder if there are instances of this occurring in people treated with hyperbaric oxygen for any condition. I couldn't find any other reports. The finding seems more likely to be relevant to the therapy rather than fibromyalgia - if it amounts to anything at all - since fibromyalgia is not much (if at all) more associated with sexual abuse than many other diseases (right?).
Good thing nobody would dare use this as a reason to suggest that repression of emotional trauma should be suspected as the cause of illness in all patients with unexplained diseases, regardless of what the patient says.
I may have missed it but do we not need to know the total number treated, the effects of treatment on those for whom there are no claims of "repressed memory", and no doubt many other things.
The thing I don’t get about this supposed repressed memory is the contradictions that abound
On one hand having a repressed memory of a traumatic event is worse than actually recalling the said memory and getting it out in the open can lead to “recovery”
On the other hand dwelling on things (like false illness beliefs) is also bad and repressing these thoughts leads to “recovery”
At first I thought these were different schools of psychiatry but it seems they can use either depending upon the philosophical argument they are trying to prove?
So when neither of these work is that when they give you a lobotomy?
They say this happened to 9 of about 200 treated in their clinic from 2013-2016. The article doesn't actually discuss the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen treatment for fibromyalgia other than to say that the first mentioned patient reported complete recovery.
Yes, we're lucky everyone in the field has too much integrity for that.
This is kind of intriguing, though, isn't it. As others have said, it would be interesting to know if this happens regardless of why the person is in the HBOT. It doesn't seem too farfetched that being locked in a steel box while absorbing highly elevated levels of oxygen might alter consciousness in some way. Ayahuasca's probably cheaper, though.
Another way of presenting the findings might have been to say that 95.5% of those undergoing treatment gave no indication of having been sexually abused as a child, which, according to some statistics, is probably well below the norm. Though one should not necessarily believe those statistics.
It might be interesting to try HBO therapy with people with some completely different condition, say MS, PTSD or arthritis, and some healthy controls and see if it leads to recall of repressed memories for some of them too.
I find the other aspects of the study more interesting - the stuff about HBO leading to increased blood circulation and oxygenation of parts of the brain that had, on fMRI showed up as hypometabolic. And the stuff about those areas having switched from aerobic to anaerobic energy, and mention of hibernation as a similar effect on the brain. And HBO acting as a metabolic switch reactivating those brain areas. It all sounds potentially useful for ME.
I know some people with ME have tried HBO treatment. Has anyone published a study?
The efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the management of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Akarsu S, et al. Undersea Hyperb Med. 2013 Mar-Apr.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubm...ic fatigue syndrome hyperbaric oxygen therapy
OBJECTIVE: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a chronic disease with social components that ensue secondary to the incapacity of the person to fulfill work, social and family responsibilities. Currently, there is no consensus regarding its treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy in CFS.
DESIGN: Sixteen patients included in the study were diagnosed with CFS according to the Fukuda criteria. Patients received 15 treatment sessions of HBO2 therapy over a period of three consecutive weeks (five days per week). The outcome measures (visual analog fatigue scale (VAFS). Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and Fatigue Quality of Life Score (FQLS) were assessed before the treatment and after completion of the 15 sessions.
RESULTS: HBO2 therapy was well tolerated, with no complications. After treatment, patients' scores were found to have improved with respect to VAFS, FSS and FQLS (all p<0.005).
CONCLUSIONS: We ,may infer that HBO2 therapy decreases the severity of symptoms and increases the life quality of CFS patients. It may be a new treatment modality for the management of CFS. However, further studies with larger sample sizes and control groups are definitely awaited.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can diminish fibromyalgia syndrome--prospective clinical trial.
Randomized controlled trial
Efrati S, et al. PLoS One. 2015.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26010952/?i=3&from=Chronic fatigue syndrome hyperbaric oxygen therapy
BACKGROUND: Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a persistent and debilitating disorder estimated to impair the quality of life of 2-4% of the population, with 9:1 female-to-male incidence ratio. FMS is an important representative example of central nervous system sensitization and is associated with abnormal brain activity. Key symptoms include chronic widespread pain, allodynia and diffuse tenderness, along with fatigue and sleep disturbance. The syndrome is still elusive and refractory. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on symptoms and brain activity in FMS.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: A prospective, active control, crossover clinical trial. Patients were randomly assigned to treated and crossover groups: The treated group patients were evaluated at baseline and after HBOT. Patients in the crossover-control group were evaluated three times: baseline, after a control period of no treatment, and after HBOT. Evaluations consisted of physical examination, including tender point count and pain threshold, extensive evaluation of quality of life, and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging for evaluation of brain activity. The HBOT protocol comprised 40 sessions, 5 days/week, 90 minutes, 100% oxygen at 2ATA. Sixty female patients were included, aged 21-67 years and diagnosed with FMS at least 2 years earlier. HBOT in both groups led to significant amelioration of all FMS symptoms, with significant improvement in life quality. Analysis of SPECT imaging revealed rectification of the abnormal brain activity: decrease of the hyperactivity mainly in the posterior region and elevation of the reduced activity mainly in frontal areas. No improvement in any of the parameters was observed following the control period.
CONCLUSIONS: The study provides evidence that HBOT can improve the symptoms and life quality of FMS patients. Moreover, it shows that HBOT can induce neuroplasticity and significantly rectify abnormal brain activity in pain related areas of FMS patients.
First author of the paper gives a TEDx Talk in 2015 titled "Reverse Aging," but he's basically talking about rejuvenating the body/brain with HBOT.
Says we only use 5% of our brain. Hmmm....
Maybe the authors answer their own question:
'Two randomized controlled trials have shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can induce neuroplasticity...'
I see no reason why inducing neuroplasticity would bring back suppressed memories but it would of course make it much easier to generate false memories through new connections.
That concerned me too. And given that the HBO treatments were done in groups, it may be that one person recalling abuse might have planted the seed in the minds of others that prompted them to 'recall' memories too.
It did concern me that they were saying this small sample was sufficient to include a warning about the possibility of recall of past trauma to the patient consent form. Would that be a trigger for some people to focus on this and look for it, even to dwell on it while undergoing the treatment and imagine they are recalling something that isn't there.
Edit: On the other hand, is it irresponsible not to warn patients this might happen?
They say two of the instances were corroborated (not sure if they mean two out of three or two out of nine).
The mechanism they propose has to do with restoring normal metabolism in areas of the brain that have been triggered into 'hibernation' by the trauma - presumably these areas are sequestering the memories in question. I don't know if this holds any water...
All that said, anything regarding purported recovery of such memories should be viewed in light of the satanic ritual abuse moral panic. This study is also still at the level of anecdote, so I second @Trish 's concerns.
About as much as the arnica in a homeopathic wine gum I would say.
It says neither the researchers nor the subjects knew this event would occur so it is likely a small paper derived from a larger or different study. It is so weak, purely anecdotal and doesn't seem much use. Looking at some of the papers the primary author has participated in it appears that his team has put quite a few groups through that chamber to see if they can bring some relief to inflammation and to improve brain function and his TED talk suggests he's quite sold on the power of the treatment.
From a Psychology Today article: "There is 'little or no empirical support' for the concept of repressed or dissociated memories of sexual abuse."
They didn't say if they had asked the other participants about remembered sexual abuse, so we can't say what percent of them had experienced it.
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