To determine whether hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy should be used for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A literature search was performed on PubMed, Cochrane Library and DynaMed for studies evaluating the use of HBO2 for ASD treatment. The studies were then reviewed for the highest quality evidence. The evidence is weak for the use of HBO2 in ASD, with only one, likely flawed, randomized control study showing treatment benefit. HBO2 should not be recommended for ASD treatment until more conclusive favorable results and long-term outcomes are demonstrated from well-designed controlled trials.
On the basis of the most recent epidemiologic research, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects approximately 1% to 2% of all children. (1)(2) On the basis of some research evidence and consensus, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers isa helpful tool to screen for autism in children between ages 16 and 30 months. (11) The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, changes to a 2-symptom category from a 3-symptom category in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition(DSM-5): deficits in social communication and social interaction are combined with repetitive and restrictive behaviors, and more criteria are required per category. The DSM-5 subsumes all the previous diagnoses of autism (classic autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified) into just ASDs.