Scuba Diving Could Help Treat Paraplegics

Doctors In Baltimore Studying Possible Effects
POSTED: 5:31 pm EDT June 15, 2011
UPDATED: 6:22 pm EDT June 15, 2011

BALTIMORE -- Neurological researchers in Baltimore are investigating how scuba diving affects a person's mental and physical health.

When it comes to treating paralysis, water therapy isn't new, but two doctors from two of Baltimore's biggest medical institutions are working together to find out what more underwater treatment could do.

The doctors -- Dr. Adam Kaplin, an assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology and chief psychiatric consultant at the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis Centers and Dr. Daniel Becker, a board-certified neurologist and the head of pediatric restoration therapy at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at the Kennedy Krieger Institute -- recently went underwater in the Grand Caymans with 10 paraplegic veterans and 10 control subjects to study what effect, if any, scuba diving could have on the mind and body of those with spinal cord injuries.

"This was a new aspect I never thought about," Becker said. "We see this as the basis for a lot of exciting research to come."

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