Mar 5, 2013 9:24 AM by Elizabeth Hill
"It gets better, it gets a lot better, but it doesn't go away."
In September 2007 Paul Bosworth's life changed forever.
"Some food got stuck in my throat. The world went to black and at that point realized I was in trouble."
Bosworth passed out. Falls account for 35 percent of traumatic brain injuries. That fall left him with post concussive syndrome.
"Months rolled on, massive headaches came, cluster headaches came, lack of sleep came, breakfast was a chore."
Bosworth underwent standard treatments like speech therapy to address some of his symptoms, but it wasn't until last year in July when he started hyperbaric oxygen treatments at Lafayette General Medical Center that he saw remarkable results.
"I felt like layers were peeled off of my brain."
Commonly used for medical conditions like carbon monoxide poisoning and problem wounds, a recent study showed significant improvement in soldiers who had have traumatic brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bosworth found similar results after 40 treatments.
"He gradually improved as far as thinking, memory, and flow of speech, and when he finished treatment we re-measured his brain with a SPECT scan and it did show good improvement," says LGMC Hyperbaric and Wound Care Center Medical Director, Dr. Matthew Holden.
Now a member of advocacy groups on both the national and state level, Bosworth hopes others can learn from his experience.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatments are expensive and are not covered under most insurance plans. Bosworth says it's fortunate groups like the NFL and the Department of Defense are spending more money on research of brain injuries and development of treatments. Bosworth and Holden hope this will lead to hyperbaric treatment being more widely available.
Since completing his hyperbaric treatment, Bosworth is now doing NeuroFeedback Therapy he says to fine tune his brain and soothe behavioral challenges brought on by his traumatic brain injury.
Here locally, the Acadiana Brain Injury Center treats patients with a wide range and severity of brain injuries using standard therapies, addressing the physical and cognitive needs.
Every year, one point seven million people sustain a traumatic brain injury. A big number, yet there is still much unknown about these injuries.