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Brain and spinal cord are extremely sensitive to disruptions of oxygen supply and lack of oxygen due to impairment of circulation is a common cause of neurological problems. 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy plays a major role in neuro-rehabilitation and restoration of motor, sensory, and cognitive function. Although earlier intervention with oxygen yields better results improvement is seen even if the injury was sustained months or years ago. 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is based on supplying organs with oxygen dissolved in blood plasma, cerebrospinal and lymphatic fluid in the amounts up to 20 times higher then when breathing air at normal one atmosphere of pressure. This makes transport of oxygen to poorly perfused, swollen, inflamed and damaged nerve tissue much easier. Since we do not poses a storage of oxygen, to be used in time of need, continuous daily therapy over several weeks is needed to restore the brain micro-circulation and normal oxygen delivery that will initiate repair, and preserve the viability of healthy brain tissue.  Lost function is regained through formation of new connections among the newly-differentiated and surviving nerve cells.  Oxygen therapy is the key therapy and most effective therapy in neurorehabiltation of brain or spinal cord after initial intervention and can not be replaced by any other therapy. It is however, important to combine hyperbaric oxygen therapy with physical, occupational, speech and other rehabilitation therapies to achieve better and quicker results. 

Protective role of oxygen: Hyperbaric Oxygen promotes neurogenesis (growth and development of neurons - nerve cells) and nerve regeneration (the growth and reconnection of viable and functional neural connections) called also neuroplasticity. Damaged brain is highly responsive to additional oxygen and results in improved mental function such as: speech, comprehension, memory, executive function as well as coordination and balance are seen very soon after initiation of the treatment and are irreversible if proper brain oxygenation is maintained. In addition to functional recovery, hyperbaric oxygenation also creates more resilient nerve cells and protects against re-occurrence of disabling clinical events such as stroke.  

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Alzheimer study!

Drs. Paul Harch and Edward Fogarty concludes: "... a 9-week treatment of low-pressure HBOT (40 sessions) in a patient with AD [Alzheimer's Dementia] caused a significant increase in global metabolism on 18FDG PET imaging with concomitant symptomatic improvement." 

And the positive effect persisted after the therapy was discontinued: "Continued HBOT [Hyperbaric oxygen therapy] in conjunction with standard pharmacotherapy maintained the patient’s symptomatic level of function over an ensuing 22 months.


Harch PG, Fogarty EF. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for Alzheimer’s dementia with positron emission tomography imaging: A case report. Med Gas Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Jan 25];8:181-4. Available from:

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