ADD / ADHD, Autism, Current Affairs, Dyslexia, Food and Drink

The Incredible Brain: A Miner Recovered

On January 2, 2006 an explosion in Sago Mine left thirteen miners trapped. In the 41 hours before rescuers could reach them, twelve had died of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The thirteenth, Randal McCloy Jr., was left comatose and in a critical condition. His chances of any sort of recovery where slim as CO prevents oxygen being carried to the brain, resulting in permanent damage.
Mr McCloy had other ideas and just four months after the accident, he has left hospital and is on the way to a full recovery. Doctors are amazed at this and point to a number of factors that have helped including the speed at which he received treatment once rescued, his age (26) and his high level of fitness. However two aspects of his treatment require special note.
He received Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) an omega-3 essential fatty acid used a treatment to speed up recovery from brain damage but is also sold as a treatment for ADHD and dyslexia. He also received hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), a standard treatment for CO poisoning that has been promoted as an effective therapy for autism. Myomancy has covered this before (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Autism) where I wrote:
There is no evidence it works with autistic childern and some proponents of HBOT promote a long list of conditions that HBOT can treat. I’ve found that a good rule of thumb is the longer the list of problems a treatment claims to help the less likely it actually helps. However it seems at least logical that increasing the supply of oxygen to the brain could stimulate neural growth and repair.
No doubt promoters of omega-3 fish oils and HBOT will jump on Randal McCloy’s incredible recovery as support for the healing powers of their products but the simple fact is that Randal is a fit young man who received the best treatment possible from a large team of dedicated medical specialists. The only thing we should take from this story is that the brain can recover and grow if people are willing to make the effort.

One Comment

  1. I was diagnosed with ADHD at a specialist clinic in Birmingham in 1999 or so.

    My recent experiments with omega-3 fish oils imply that I get improved focus about 75% of the day after I take two pills.

    More details upon request.

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