An article recently published by the Advocate, describes the amazing brain improvement of an Alzheimer’s patient after hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is when the patient breathes in pure oxygen, usually in a pressurized tube or room. While in the room or tube, the air pressure will increase, this enables the patient’s lungs to take in more oxygen. The increase of oxygen stimulates stem cells and growth factors, which actually help heal the body.
Injured tissue needs more oxygen to heal and survive, that includes the brain. Dr. Paul Harch (LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine) and Dr. Edward Fogarty (University of North Dakota School of Medicine) have presented a case of a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’ disease“is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life”. This affects about 5.7 million Americans alone. Most of the people being over the age of 65. It also affects about 200,000 people who are under the age of 65.
Deaths because of Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise. 14 million cases are expected to be present by 2050. That’s only about 31 years away. “The load of toxins, food additives, pesticides in chemicals — all take a toll,”said Dr. Harch.
The case report that Dr. Harch and Dr. Fogarty presented was a case about a 58-year-old woman. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and her memory and motor skills were beginning to deteriorate. However, after 21 treatments of the Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, her activity and energy levels had improved. And most importantly her mood improved. Her performance of day to day activities improved and she could even work on crossword puzzles.
They then proceeded to 40 treatments. She began to eat more and she also was not as frustrated. Her memory increased which also meant her concentration increased. She was even sleeping better; her bad days became less frequent.
Not only did her actions and symptoms show the results of the treatment, but so did the PET scans that were taken of her brain. Dr. Harch states that even a third grader could notice that there was improvement. In the brain’s metabolism, the whole improvement went from 6.5 percent to 38 percent.
If this treatment could potentially stop but also, just temporarily reverse what the Alzheimer’s disease did in the first place. This case study is just one out of eleven that will be using hyperbaric oxygen therapy as treatment for Alzheimer’s. Imagine if this is the outcome for all of the patients.
The only problem was that once the treatment stopped, her symptoms came back. Alzheimer’s has no cure, but the process can be slowed down. She was, thankfully, retreated for 20 months and the symptoms had stopped progressing.
Dr. Harch said, “The results of the study suggest that Alzheimer’s can be treated in the long term with hyperbaric oxygen therapy along with drugs”. He also describes how medicine is quite slow, doctors must overcome the misunderstanding of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Which he then goes on to describe as “gene therapy”.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not only for Alzheimer’s patients. Dr. Harch has used hyperbaric oxygen therapy on patients who have nearly drowned. He showed the regrowth of brain treatment, using hyperbaric oxygen therapy on a toddler who nearly drowned. Many doctors believed that the child would never talk or even walk again. But because of the therapy she is talking and she is even waking.
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