Study: HBOT Improves Brain Function in Alzheimer’s

Published on
July 11, 2019

With Alzheimer’s disease affecting as many as 5.5 million Americans, doctors and researchers have been working to find a drug or treatment that can slow down the progression of the disease. Current medications can slow down some damage in the early stages, but there is currently nothing that really works well. A newly published case report reveals what many hyperbaric medical professionals have known for years. HBOT helps treat and reverse the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease. After treatment with hyperbaric oxygen, patients see that HBOT improves brain function.

Alzheimer’s Disease Viewed as Irreversible and Progressive

The National Institutes of Health states, “Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. It is the most common cause of dementia in older adults. Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States but recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people.”

But this new study shows that we may have a way to treat Alzheimer’s without medications. HBOT may be the first treatment option to not only halt, but temporarily reverse disease progression in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as improve brain function.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Imaging

Dr reviewing brain images

Doctor check up x-ray film of the brain by mri or ct scan brain at patient room hospital. medical concept.

A January 24, 2019 case report, authored by Dr. Paul Harch, the clinical professor and director of hyperbaric medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, looked at a 58-year-old woman diagnosed five years previous with Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, her cognitive function had begun to decline rapidly eight months prior to HBOT treatment. Before the study, her diagnose was confirmed with 18Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography brain imaging. This imaging revealed global metabolic deficits typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Treating Alzheimer’s Disease with HBOT

A man inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber

During the treatment phase, the patient underwent 40 HBOT treatments over the course of 66 days. Each treatment was 50 minutes, five days a week. At the halfway point, or 21 treatments, the patient reported an increased in energy, a better mood, and the ability to perform daily living tasks, including regular crossword puzzles. At the end of the 40 treatments, she reported more good days than bad and an increased appetite. She also experienced increased memory and concentration. Once again she had the ability to hold a conversation, as well as less anxiety and disorientation. Her motor speed, tremors, and mobility were also improved.

For more information about Alzheimer’s disease and HBOT, check out our page HERE.

Brain Imaging Shows the Largest Improvement in Alzheimer’s Treatment From HBOT

While reports of improved symptoms are positive, actual data showing improvement is what we look for. Repeat imaging at the end of the HBOT therapy showed improved symptoms. It also showed an improvement in resting global brain metabolism, ranging from 6.5 to 38 percent. The largest increases occurred in the anterior and mid-cingulate cortices, with smaller improvement in the posterior cingulate and watershed areas. These results represent the largest reported global and regional improvements in resting brain metabolism, surpassing current medication on the market.

When Traditional Medications No Longer Help

If you or your loved one has hit a wall with your current Alzheimer’s treatment, it may be time to consider HBOT. With HBOT proving to increase brain metabolism, reduce symptoms, and in some cases reverse disease progression, HBOT offers a treatment alternative that shows a better outcome than current traditional medications, improving brain function for Alzheimer’s patients.

Give our office a call today and set up an initial consultation with Dr. Spiegel, where he will go over your current medical history and develop a treatment plan that works with you. While many view Alzheimer’s as the end of the road, HBOT may be able to make it just a simple speedbump. You can also visit HERE to fill out our online information request form.