Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Dementia
The neurodegenerative condition known as Alzheimer’s disease progressively worsens over time and currently has no cure. Dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease is generally accepted as the most common form of dementia in the elderly. Dementia affects millions of people every year, and that number is only expected to rise as the world’s population ages.
A new study from Tel Aviv University (TAU) shows that this field has vast unrealized potential.
Dementia is a common problem among the elderly, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the leading cause of this problem. Despite the fact that the exact mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) development has not yet been identified, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to be an effective treatment for AD.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that has been around for a while that involves breathing 100% oxygen in a pressurized environment. It is possible that this therapy could be used to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease or even prevent its development. This is the case, as shown by the results of a recent study conducted by academics at Shamir Medical Center and Tel Aviv University.
This research demonstrates that elderly patients with severe memory loss, as well as mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, can benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) by increasing their cerebral blood flow and cognitive function. Also, they show for the first time that HBOT can reduce amyloid plaques in these mouse models of the disease. Amyloid plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, so this finding is encouraging for those who suffer from the disease.
There is a correlation between the severity of cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease and the extent to which cerebral blood flow is reduced, and thus the degree to which oxygen supply to the brain (hypoxia) decreases, thus increasing the risk of dementia. The research team hypothesized that if they could develop a way to target vascular dysfunctions like reduced vessel diameters, it might provide a way to treat Alzheimer’s disease, for which there is currently no effective treatment.
The TAU research team found that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Dementia was effective in reestablishing normal brain function. This is the first time that a therapy that does not rely on the use of drugs has been shown to effectively prevent the fundamental biological processes that are thought to be responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, which is both noteworthy and encouraging. This is a major success.