HBOT: Oxygen Feeds a Damaged Brain

Published on
July 11, 2019

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are a major cause of death and disability in the United States. Those that survive a major TBI are often left with life-altering changes including impaired cognitive skills, movement disorders, loss of sensation, and changes in mood and personality. While it was long believed that a damaged brain was unrepairable, research has shown that many damaged areas are simply not working, almost in a dormant state. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, is able to wake up those hibernating brain cells and trigger repair within the damaged brain, reducing symptoms and giving patients back their quality of life.

How a TBI Starves the Brain

A brain graphic showing injury

When you breathe in oxygen, it travels through the body in the blood. A healthy brain uses 20 percent of that oxygen for normal function and health. When an injury occurs to the brain, swelling and inflammation occur. This injury and swelling block the blood flow to the damaged areas, resulting in reduced oxygen levels and cell destruction. This also reduces the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the brain that is responsible for cellular energy.  When this happens, the brain is unable to function, let alone repair damaged tissue.

While the oxygen deprivation may lead to tissue death, many areas of the damaged brain go into a hibernation-like state, resulting in reduced function and causing the symptoms a patient may experience. While in this state, the cells are still alive, but just unable to function. They are not getting the oxygen supply they need to repair and work again. This is where HBOT comes in!!

If you would like more information on how HBOT can help feed your brain and reduce your TBI symptoms, give our office a call today to set up an initial consultation with Dr. Spiegel and his team!

The Brain Needs Oxygen to Thrive and Repair

As we mentioned previously, the brain uses 20 percent of the oxygen your body takes in. Researchers believe that the nerve cells use two-thirds of that to deliver signals to the body while the remaining one third goes to cell health and repair. When an injury causes oxygen depletion, both these areas see a reduction. Body and brain function is limited, as is the brain’s ability to repair the damage. In order to return the balance to the brain, we must increase the levels of oxygen available.

HBOT Delivers Increased Oxygen to Feed the Brain

A man preparing for Hbot

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, is a non-invasive and safe treatment option that delivers 100 percent oxygen under increased air pressures, allowing the oxygen to penetrate the tissues and enter the brain. As you relax in our hyperbaric chambers, the oxygen gets to work, reaching the damaged and dormant areas of the brain that have been starved of oxygen. All this happens while you quietly relax and even watch your favorite television show. No needles! No tests! And NO medications! The oxygen is the only thing your brain needs to get a jump start and begin working again.

How Oxygen Affects the Injured Brain

As oxygen enters the brain, it begins to feed the dormant cells, bringing them back to life. HBOT initiates the growth of new capillaries, allowing blood flow to return to the damaged areas. The oxygen helps to reduce the inflammation in the brain which could also contribute to poor blood flow and oxygenation. The oxygen delivered through HBOT induces regeneration of axonal white matter and stimulates axonal growth. The high levels of oxygen go on to improve cellular metabolism, alleviate oxidative stress, reduces tissue and cell death, and increases mitochondrial function. Simply put, oxygen gives the brain the energy it needs to function properly and assist in the repair of damaged tissue and cells. Oxygen is brain food!!

To learn more about how hyperbaric oxygen treats damage in the brain, visit HERE.

Is HBOT Right for YOU?

A Dr reviewing brain scans

At this point, HBOT is the only treatment that has proven in scientific studies to benefit patients with brain damage due to a stroke or traumatic brain injury. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury where tissue hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) is the underlying cause of continued symptoms, HBOT is just what you need!!

Did your TBI happen years ago? Have you been told by numerous doctors that there is no hope for a return of brain function? We are here today to let you know there is HOPE! As we mentioned before, when a TBI occurs, the injured tissue is often damaged and unable to repair, but still alive. This state of hibernation can last years, meaning there is hope for improvement years after the initial injury! HBOT can deliver oxygen to those dormant areas and wake them up, allowing for repair and symptom reduction.

A leading physician and researcher in the area of hyperbaric medicine, Dr. Kenneth Stoller, stated in a recent report that “the time has come for the orphan therapy (HBOT) to be adopted and for it to take its place as a standard practice for treating both acute and chronic TBI….this benign, humanitarian, and non-invasive therapy is recognized as a quintessential tool for treating brain injury; after all, oxygen is what the brain fundamentally feeds upon.”

Contact us today to set up an initial consultation with Dr. Spiegel and his professional team. They will work with you to establish a treatment plan that best fits your needs and gets some much-needed oxygen therapy to your brain!! Visit HERE to fill out our online request form for more information.