A phase I safety study of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Julie Steele, Luis A. Matos, Eustorgio A. Lopez, Miguel A. Perez-Pinzon, Ricardo Prado, Raul Busto, Kristopher L.E. Arheart, Walter G. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor and mitochondrial abnormalities have been described in ALS and its animal models. We have reported that hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment delayed the onset of weakness in the wobbler mouse. Objective: To perform a Phase I safety study of HBO in patients with ALS. Methods: Five patients with ALS were treated for 60 min with 100% oxygen at 2 atmospheres pressure daily for five days a week for four weeks. The patients reported any deterioration in their condition after each treatment, and their neurological condition was measured serially during the four weeks of the treatment, and for four further weeks. Results: Four patients reported decreased fatigue, while one patient dropped out at three weeks because of increased fatigue. Maximum isometric voluntary contraction (MVIC) of all muscle groups except right hand grip improved significantly by up to 97%. Most improvement occurred during the four weeks after treatment. It is possible that the improvement in muscle strength was a placebo or a learning effect, though no such effects have been detected in prior therapeutic trials in ALS using MVIC. No change was detected in other measures of neuromuscular function. Conclusions: A longer duration, placebo controlled trial in a larger number of patients is needed to determine the safety and efficacy of HBO. Until that is completed, it is not recommended that ALS patients should be treated with HBO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-254
Number of pages5
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Other Motor Neuron Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • ALS
  • Hyperbaric oxygen
  • Muscle strength
  • Therapeutic trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'A phase I safety study of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this