Alternative Therapies, Inherent Risks and Effectiveness #1: Hyperbaric Oxygen

“The Rationale of Hyperbaric Chambers in Treating Autistic Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy Patients”

by Fernando Miranda, M.D., F.A.A.N.


As the diagnosis of Autistic Syndrome (ASD) grows, there are many therapies utilized in this field that had not been scientifically assessed and may potentially have negative effects on the patient.

One of these is hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

Through my years of dealing with patients with the diagnosis of ASD and Cerebral Palsy, I have found families investing in this expensive treatment and occasionally buying the equipment so that they can perform the treatment at home with an increased frequency.

It is clear from the medical literature that hyperbaric oxygen therapy has a significant therapeutic effect in infections of limbs, in which anaerobic bacteria is found. Specifically, in gangrene.

It also has a significant role in the treatment of diving encephalopathies (ie, the famous “bends” -Ed), decompression syndromes, for which hyperbaric oxygen is of incredible value as a therapeutic tool.

However, to my knowledge, there is no peer-reviewed journal in the Neurosciences that has noted the value in any situation for ASD or CP. Read more »

How to Modify Aggressive Behavior in Children with Autism

“How to Modify Aggressive Behavior in Children with Autism”

by Fernando Miranda, M.D., F.A.A.N.


A frequent question from both parents and teachers is how do you discipline children that behave badly — and by that I mean become physically aggressive or start having tantrums and throwing things around physically.

The first thing to remember is the fact that patients with Autism Syndromes have a brain disorder. This brain disorder is particularly manifested by abnormal neuropathology. These children have hyperfunctioning of local neural microcircuits in the brain which produce hyperreactivity and hyperplasticity.

If we were to stay with those two concepts, hyperreactivity meaning reacting more to any sensory stimulation, most children will hyperreact to auditory stimulation but it is also on occasions visual stimulation as well. Some of them will react to sensory stimulation such as touching or changes in temperature.

What this causes is an overabundance of stimuli in an individual who cannot quickly adapt and react appropriately.

The other piece of the puzzle that most people do not recognize is that all humans are genetically determined to have patterns of reactivity to very basic specific stimulus. We have a reactivity to situations that produce anger, fear, or threat as examples, and most of our instinctive reaction is to protect ourselves physically. Within those patterns of reaction, aggression is a frequent one.

These hyperfunctioning microcircuits in many of occasions become autonomous and “memory trapped” (similar to “muscle memory” through repetition) leading to hyperperception, hyperattention, and hyperemotionality. Read more »

Welcome to the Bright Minds Symposium!

First post!

We’re live. Welcome to the Bright Minds blog.

Over the coming months check here for expert analysis and opinion from Bright Minds Institute’s Medical Director Fernando Miranda M.D. as well as from our other staff. The photo above is of our San Francisco office, facing south on Sansome Street.

Have questions? Start posting them!


:: Ken, Patient Advocate


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