Healing the brain: Hyperbaric Oxyen Therapy and Alzheimer's

Posted on January 31, 2020

An LSU professor sees great improvement in a 58-year old Alzheimer's patient following 66-days of hyperbaric oxygen treatments. This improvement was not only evident in the patient's cognitive ability to perform simple tasks, but it was visibly noticeable on her PET scans taken a month after treatment.

For one 58-year old woman diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease hyperbaric oxygen therapy has allowed her to regain some of what the disease has stolen from her over five years. After receiving 66-days of treatment her memory and concentration improved as did her ability to use the computer and work crossword puzzles. With 21 treatments the patient reported an increase in energy as well as improvement in her overall mood. After 40 treatments she had increased memory and concentration, was sleeping and eating better. She stated she was experiencing more good days than bad days with less disorientation and frustration.

Dr. Paul Harch, who is a clinical professor and director of hyperbaric medicine at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine along with Dr. Edward Fogarty with the University of North Dakota School of Medicine stressed in their outline of this case study that this patient's improvements is not just based on what she reported, but is visibly seen in the before and after PET scan. According to Harch, the treatment showed a global improvement in brain metabolism of 6.5 percent to 38 percent. "HBOT in this patient may be the first treatment not only to halt, but temporarily reverse disease progression in Alzheimer's disease," Harch said.

To Harch, Alzheimer's is an injury to the brain and hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat wounds anywhere in the body, which includes the brain. Although Alzheimer's is primarily a vascular disease Harch states that the protein plaques and tangles in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's therefore, resulting in the product of injury. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy targets all four of the pathological processes identified, which provide the chemical energy for cells to live.

The study notes that this particular patient was retreated over the next 20 months, which has resulted in her symptoms being stablized. This is further proof that with long-term hyperabaric treatment along with proper medication there is hope for patient's diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

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