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The brain is 2% of our body weight but uses 20% of our oxygen.
HBO means that oxygen can be delivered to the recesses of the brain which may have been hindered anatomically before. There is published literature supporting the use of hyperbaric oxygen for several neurological conditions.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Has Been Clinically Proven To

  • Reduce cerebral edema

  • Reduce neuroinflammation 

  • Increase oxygen saturation in the brain 

  • Promote new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) 

  • Can create an 8-fold increase in your own stem cell production, such as brain cells

  • Reactivate idling neurons within the most oxygen-deficient areas of the brain

HBO means that oxygen can be delivered to the recesses of the brain which may have been hindered anatomically before. There is published literature supporting the use of hyperbaric oxygen for several neurological conditions. Hyperbaric oxygen can dramatically and permanently improve symptoms of chronic neurological conditions months or even many years after the original head injury, which argues the idea within the typical medical establishment that brain damage cannot be repaired. SPECT scans from case studies across the globe show a clear indication that hyperbaric oxygen can repair neurological damage even decades after an injury, bringing macroscopic areas of the cortex back “online”. This is followed by striking changes in the patient’s functioning and demeanor with a significant increase in quality of life. The benefits brought about by hyperbaric oxygen are generally permanent.

Compelling case reports are also seen in terms of Alzheimer’s disease where the patients' progressiveness has been improved to some extent by hyperbaric oxygen. It seems that a Maintainance schedule of perhaps a few sessions per week can slow down and in some cases, appears to prevent progression.

Evidence suggests that hyperbaric oxygen can bring about dramatic improvement in many neurological conditions for which we have had very little to offer other than palliative care.

In an experimental study in which the group used hyperbaric oxygen to help alleviate traumatic brain injury, it was concluded that hyperbaric oxygen demonstrates neuroprotective effects without increasing oxygen toxicity. The mechanism for this is suggested to be improved tissue oxygenation and cellular metabolism, anti-inflammation, anti-apoptosis and promoting neurogenesis and angiogenesis. These key factors suggest that hyperbaric oxygen should be considered in the future to treat traumatic brain injury and other neurological diseases.

The Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center recently announced a peer-reviewed study that demonstrated for the first time that hyperbaric oxygen can significantly enhance the cognitive performance of healthy older adults. Professor Shai Efrati, a leader in hyperbaric oxygen research, stated that “In our study, for the first time in humans, we have found effective and safe medical intervention that can address this unwanted consequence of our age-related deterioration.”

The study's primary endpoint included a change in cognitive function and cerebral blood flow evaluation.

The researchers have demonstrated that the combined action of delivering high levels of oxygen (hyperoxia) and pressure (hyperbaric environment), leads to significant improvement in tissue oxygenation while targeting both oxygen and pressure-sensitive genes, resulting in restored and enhanced tissue metabolism. Moreover, these targeted genes induce stem cell proliferation, reduce inflammation and induce the generation of new blood vessels and tissue repair mechanisms.

Multiple clinical studies published in recent years present convincing evidence that hyperbaric oxygen might be the coveted neurotherapeutic method for brain repair. New trials provide convincing evidence that HBO can induce cerebral plasticity leading to the repair of chronically impaired brain functions and improved quality of life in post-stroke patients, even years after the brain insult. Hyperbaric oxygen is proving to be a potent means of delivering to the brain sufficient oxygen needed for activation of neuroplasticity and restoration of improved functions. At the cellular level, hyperbaric oxygen is improving cellular metabolism, reducing apoptosis, alleviating oxidative stress, and increasing the levels of neurotrophins and nitric oxide through enhancement of mitochondrial function in both neurons and glial cells, and may even promote neurogenesis of endogenous neural stem cells. HBO has also been proven to inhibit mitochondrial permeability transition pore and thus has the potential to reserve the abnormalities of mitochondria found in stroke and traumatic brain injury. 

Looking ahead

It seems that based on the aforementioned rationale, one can conclude that hyperbaric oxygen could be effective in preserving brain function and alleviating neurological conditions. 

By Harch, P, Fogarty E, Staab P and Van Meter K

View the Studies

Overview of the Advanced Brain Care Program

Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury With Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injury: bench-to-bedside

A new hyperbaric oxygen therapy protocol can improve cognitive function of older adults

Reflections on the neurotherapeutic effects of hyperbaric oxygen

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