(Stony Brook, NY) Stony Brook Medicine will be conducting an IRB-approved research study in conjunction with Hyperbaric Medical Solutions to determine whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy when added to conventional steroid therapy will improve recovery from multiple sclerosis relapse. Stony Brook MS Comprehensive Care Center Director Dr. Patricia Coyle will be the Principal Investigator for this first research study of its kind. Dr. Coyle will work with Hyperbaric Medical Solutions’ (HMS) Medical Director Dr. Henry Prince.
The six-month study will include 30 volunteer patients who have suffered an MS relapse. It will include steroid therapy, physical exams, neurological exams, questionnaires, MRIs and possible hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Participants will be asked to visit Stony Brook MS Comprehensive Care Center for six study visits and offsite facilities for MRI and possible hyperbaric treatments. Fifteen patients will be randomized to receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy and 15 will not.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms of the disease include numbness and weakness in extremities that can disable a person. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, there are approximately 400,000 people living with MS in the United States. Women are almost three times more likely to have the disease.
Notes Stony Brook’s Dr. Coyle, “This is the first time hyperbaric oxygen is being examined to determine whether it can, when used acutely, lessen the damage associated with an MS attack”.
HMS Medical Director Dr. Prince said, “We are excited to work with Dr. Coyle and Stony Brook University exploring the role of Hyperbaric Oxygen as a tool for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. We hope to show that Hyperbaric Oxygen along with steroids reduce the objective and subjective damage often seen after exacerbation’s of MS.”
The ground-breaking study is sponsored by the Cure MS Foundation of New York, which was founded by Filomena Lombardi who was first diagnosed with MS over 17 years ago. After trying numerous treatments, Lombardi found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy was extremely effective. Lombardi notes, “The FDA has approved hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the treatment of a number of health conditions such as radiation injury, diabetic wounds and carbon monoxide poisoning; however, it has not approved it for the treatment of MS. Hopefully this study will help reverse that.”