Richard A. Neubauer, M.D is an author of
"Hyperbaric Oxygenation for Cerebral Palsy and the Brain-Injured Child: A Promising Treatment"
A Review by Frederick S. Cramer, M.D.,
Dr. Richard Neubauer has created a must-read for all parents, family members and other caregivers of children with cerebral palsy or other brain injury. He has taken a complex medical subject and explained it such that people without specific medical training can understand. This book is equally suited to readers interested in learning more about either cerebral palsy or traumatic brain injury, with both topics handled well and without confusion. Cerebral palsy is a multi-factorial term for hypoxic brain injury in the peri-birth time period. i.e. in-utero or during the birth process, something causes the interruption of the normal blood supply and oxygen to the brain of the baby. The other type of brain injury in the young child is traumatic - e.g. near drowning, suffocation or motor vehicle/bicycle accident.
"Hyperbaric Oxygenation for Cerebral Palsy and the Brain-Injured Child" excels in meeting one of the most urgent needs of a parent with a recently injured child - the need for factual credible medical information. Dr. Neubauer includes a clear discussion of the underlying physiology of the brain and how it works, followed by the mechanics of cerebral plasy and brain injury that provides a solid foundation for later discussions related to treatment. He then introduces a new and sophisticated diagnostic technique called Single Photon Emission Computer Tomography (SPECT). SPECT scanning is of particular interest with regard to brain-injured children because it represents an opportunity to objectively access brain function in patients with cerebral palsy or brain injury - a capability that adds significant science to what might otherwise be simply anecdotal observations of patient improvement.
It is with this background that Dr. Neubauer provides readers with the foundation to understand the principle thesis of his book - that intermittent, high-dose oxygen administered as a drug directly addresses the pathophysiology of brain injury, leading to sometimes rearkable improvements in brain function and quality of life. He explains the medical basis for Hyperbaric Oxygenation Therapy (HBOT), along with a thorough discussion of why HBO can, and does in his opinion, fundamentally improve brain function in children with cerebral palsy or traumatic brain injury. Dr. Neubauer concludes with a pragmatic discussion of costs, insurance, acceptance by the medical community at large, and how to find a HBOT center that is skilled in the treatment of children with cerebral palsy or brain injury.
While this book is not intended as an academic discourse on the subject of cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury, Dr Neubauer provides a realistic perspective that not every patient will respond to HBOT. He notes that each child is different and only 70-80% can be expected to respond favorably. This is why SPECT scan is stressed as an objective technique for the parents to realize whether there is any hope for their child. For example, if the SPECT scan does not improve after six months of treatment, the child is not likely to respond.
Lastly, the book also includes several examples of clinical success with various children, with perhaps the most compelling being Rebecca Nemeth written by her father. Mr. Nemeth shares his experience of fear and frustration, along with the hope and joy realized through the improved quality of life his daughter has experienced following HBOT.
"Hyperbaric Oxygenation for Cerebral Palsy and the Brain-Injured Child" promises to remain the defining book for parents for many years to come.
This review was written by Frederick S. Cramer, M.D.,President, XIV International Congress on Hyperbaric Medicine.
Books by Richard A. Neubauer, M.D.