Xenon Gas Shows Promising Results for Brain Injury

Xenon Gas Shows Promising Results for Brain InjuryInfants can suffer brain injury during birth due to various circumstances. Brain damage occurs as a result of trauma to the child’s head, poor decisions on the part of caregivers during a difficult labor, or any situation that disrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to the infant’s brain.

The trauma from injury may be temporary or cause lifelong disabilities. Health care providers utilize various methods and medications in an attempt to reduce or reverse the effects of brain injury including hypothermia. Recent studies by British researchers involving the use of Xenon gas show promising results.

Xenon Gas Attributes and Uses

Xenon exists in minuscule quantities in the atmosphere as a colorless, odorless, tasteless, noncombustible substance. The process of singling out this component is expensive, contributing to high cost of procuring this non-toxic gas. Formerly used for illumination in street lamps and other devices, the gas has been used as a general anesthetic for more than 50 years. Studies indicate patients undergoing Xenon anesthesia experience fewer side effects compared with other commonly used compounds.

Within the last decade, researchers developing brain-injury treatment techniques involving hypothermia and brain injury began investigating Xenon for potential neuroprotective properties. Xenon appears to block nerve cell receptors, keeping their healthy state intact following a brain injury as well as preventing pain.  The indications from the studies also conclude the protective results are lasting.

Xenon Treatment Saves Infant from Brain Damage

Proven successful under lab environment conditions, researchers required results on human subjects. The parents of an infant, who endured oxygen deprivation, in England, agreed to allow their child to undergo Xenon inhalation therapy in combination with hypothermia, in an attempt to prevent or reverse possible brain damage. Subjected to the Xenon gas treatment, the infant showed dramatic improvement a week later, without experiencing adverse effects. Scientists and physicians are hoping to implement the treatment for other infants experiencing hazardous trauma at birth.

Xenon Gas Potential

Scientists have and continue to develop special respiration devices that effectively deliver Xenon gas therapy. The machines deliver appropriate doses for varying lengths of time without losing the precious gas back into the atmosphere. The apparatuses are few, but received approval for further testing and use.

Xenon gas therapy requires further research before health care providers know the success for Xenon use in other brain injury patients. In the United States alone, over one million individuals endure brain injuries annually. The majority of these injuries occur because of motor vehicle accidents, falls or sports related situations. An estimated 50,000 people die annually and many more suffer permanent disabilities subsequent to brain trauma. The potential for Xenon gas therapy combined with hypothermia to save or improve the quality of life for patients is staggering.

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One thought on “Xenon Gas Shows Promising Results for Brain Injury

  1. Frank Medley

    I am a licensed RN in the states of TN and GA. I have a BS degree in Business Administration and a Masters in Science in Nursing From Vanderbilt University. In November of 2007 a coworker (another nurse who is presently on long term disability for schizophrenia) at the Hospital where I work gave me two pieces of unwrapped chocolate from a plastic baggy. I ate both pieces and within 20 minutes I became incredibly dizzy and nearly unable to walk. I was literally staggering for over three hours. I found it very difficult to concentrate at all and was unable to initiate virtually action or make the simplest of mental associations for the next 48 hours. I had difficulty remembering past events at the time although I remember, but could not interact with, circumstances at hand. I could not maintain clear mental focus on anything going on around me. Things at the time almost seemed unreal and my sense of volition was virtually none existent. Me and the coworker worked alone together at night on our unit, which was, ironically a psych unit. Several hours after I had eaten this substance, whatever it was; my coworker (who had previously made it clear that she did not like me or men in general) stated that I “could not do my job without my mind”. Additionally a second male coworker said the exact same to me privately about an hour or so after this. In addition, the first coworker made some very bizarre comments about whether or not someone had planted an eavesdropping device in a doorknob of the exam room on the unit. It was clear to me that his woman had given me a substance that was intended to debilitate me and to cause some sort of delusional, hallucinatory or paranoidal ideation. I told a friend and fellow coworker about this incident the following week. I also went to see my optometrist several months later and she told me that I now have an astigmatism that I had not had before and that this simply does not occur. I did tell my physician about a month after the incident and he actually sent my chart to a neurologist who works at the hospital where I work. Word apparently leaked out about this. This is very complicated set of events that followed yet for the time being suffice it to say that I was unable to interact well enough to follow up with the neurologist. Over the next several weeks and months I was very irritable at times, more than usual and was somewhat paranoid. I have never taken a drug that was not prescribed to me by a physician nor have I ever had any psychiatric treatment or been on and sort of psychotropic medication. I have gradually recovered much of my focus, concentration and memory since that time; yet there remain clear deficits. I did notify the hospital’s Director of Human Resources of this event as well as an EAP counselor about what had occurred. Unfortunately, another person may have been involved with this as well but this would be difficult to prove.

    I wan to feel the way I used to feel and have the same cognitive capacity I formerly had. It so happened that the nurse who did this gave me a cup of chili the following evening which I saved and attempted to have analysed at a local lab in Chattanooga, TN. They refused citing that a crime had been committed and that the police would have to do the anaylsis. Since that time I did get up the nerve to go the the police in the Georgia town where this occurred and they said I would have to get it tested myself before they would get involved.

    There is even more to this story but to get to the point 1) I am curious if I still have any legal recourse against the Hospital where I work, and 2) do you know of a Lab that would test this chili, and; 3.) do you have any suggestions as to how to pursue treatment for my cognitive problems, who I might contact for treatment?

    Thank you

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