Some parents of children with cerebral palsy and other forms of brain damage say a treatment long used by doctors for other conditions has brought what seem like near-miraculous advances in kids who hadn’t been able to talk, walk or feed themselves.

The treatment — hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT — delivers pure oxygen at higher-than-normal pressures to patients sitting or lying in a chamber. Although there is no proof, advocates believe that in brain damage cases the extra oxygen can prompt dormant or damaged neurons to become reinvigorated.

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