Hyperbaric Oxygen & Neurological Disease
Hyperbaric Therapy has a wealth of data in Neurology
The most important metabolic effects of HBO are on the Central Nervous System.
The brain has unusually high resting energy requirements, which can only be met by oxidative breakdown of substrate.
Cerebral metabolism is closely tied to blood ﬂow.
The brain, although it makes up only 2 % of the body weight, consumes 20 % of the oxygen taken in.
Furthermore, the brain cannot store oxygen and therefore cannot tolerate being without Oxygen for more than a few minutes.
Hyperbaric Effects in Neurology
• Improvement of microcirculation (via angiogenesis)
• Preservation of damaged tissue (rendered inactive by ischemia/hypoxia).
• Improvement of cerebral metabolism
• Increasing mitochondrial function
• Stem Cell Mobilization
In animal models, HBO increases the expression of Sirt1, Nrf2, and superoxide dismutase for modulating inflammation and promoting longevity.
A meta-analysis by You 2019 looked at twenty-five randomized clinical trials involving 1,954 patients and looked at Hyperbaric Treatment along with nootropic medications.
The results indicated that additional HBOT strikingly improved the Mini-Mental State Examination and activities of daily living.
The authors concluded "the present meta-analysis suggested that HBOT can be recommended as an effective and safe complementary therapy for the treatment of Vascular Dementia."
Xu 2019 looked at 158 patients with Vascular Dementia which were randomly divided into control group and Hyperbaric groups.
Hyperbaric Oxygen was given 5 days per week, 60 min for each session at 2.0 ATA for 12 weeks.
After treatment, compared with the control group, the MMSE scores were significantly increased.
The authors concluded "HBO therapy can improve cognitive function in patients with VD, and its mechanism may be related to elevated serum Humanin levels."
In Naturopathic medicine many cognitive enhancers or "nootropics" exist.
Some of our Naturopathic Doctors' favorites include Huperzine from Chinese club moss Huperzia serrata, which acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor.
Harch 2018 discusses a case report of a 58-year-old female was diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia which was rapidly progressive in the 8 months prior to treatment.
She received 40 treatments of Hyperbaric Oxygen.
After 21 treatments the patient reported increased energy, activity, mood, and performance of activities of daily living.
After 40 treatments, she reported increased memory, concentration, sleep, conversation, appetite, ability to use the computer, resolved anxiety, and decreased disorientation and frustration.
PET scans showed up to a 38% increase in brain metabolism, including typical Alzheimer brain areas.
Dr. Dale Bredesen has published some excellent literature on Functional and Naturopathic medicine approaches to Alzheimer's.
Termed "ReCODE" – reversal of cognitive decline – a protocol that has reversed symptoms in patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Neretin (1989) looked at Hyperbaric Therapy for the treatment of 64 patients suffering from Parkinsonism.
Hyperkinesia, bradykinesia, and muscle rigidity, can develop with brain lesions of varied etiology.
Hyperbaric Oxygen was given daily for 8-12 treatments between 1.3 and 2.0 atm for 40-60 minutes with nootropic medications.
Beneficial effects were seen 55/64 patients (86%).
Xu 2018 published a case report - a 45-year-old male Parkinson's patient with severe depression and anxiety that refused to be treated with mood modifying therapies.
Two 40 minute HBOT sessions were used daily at 2.0 ATA for 30 days
Mood, as well as the resting tremor and bradykinesia improved significantly.
Intravenous Glutathione Therapy is a favorite of our Naturopathic Doctors for Parkinson's at our Edmonton clinic.
Oriani et al (1990) looked at 44 MS patients and compared Hyperbaric Oxygen at 2.5 ATA against compressed air.
90 minute treatments were used for 1 month before initiating maintenance treatments for a 1 year period.
In the Hyperbaric group, 64% reported benefits versus only 5% in the Hyperbaric air group.
Pallota (1986) studied 22 RRMS patients for 8 years with Hyperbaric treatment.
An initial course of 20 treatments, with half treated (11/22) treated with two HBO treatments every 3 weeks thereafter.
The relapse frequency decreased dramatically in the 11/22 patients over the 8 year period.
MS is certainly an area our Naturopathic doctors are experienced with at our Edmonton clinic.
Our Naturopaths screen for food sensitivities, assess gut health, chronic infections, toxicities and use IV Glutathione, IV Myers and IV NAD.
For our entire discussion on Hyperbaric medicine and MS visit our MS Section.
A tremendous amount of data exists on potential positive effects of Hyperbaric Therapy for Chronic stroke sequela.
Neubauer and End (1980) used Hyperbaric Therapy for both acute and the chronic stroke at pressures of 1.5–2 ATA up to 60 minutes twice daily.
The authors reported that 65% of the chronic stroke patients reported an improvement in their quality of life.
Efrati et al.(2013) studied 74 chronic stroke patients commencing Hyperbaric treatment for 60 days.
5 weekly sessions for 90 minutes at 2 ATA for a total of 40 treatments between 6 and 36 months after the initial insult.
The authors found that Hyperbaric therapy led to significant neurological improvements in this chronic stroke population.
Citicoline is Naturopath favorite at our clinic for both MS and Stroke.
Alvarez-Sabín 2013 gave citicoline (1 g/day) for 12 months vs. no citicoline in patients selected 6 weeks after suffering a stroke - the citicoline group showed a better functional outcome
For our entire discussion on Hyperbaric medicine and stroke visit our Stroke section.
Anti-inflammatory, hyperoxygenation and neovascular Hyperbaric effects make it an attractive option for use in chronic TBI.
Harch et al. 2012, looked at Hyperbaric therapy in 16 war veterans with traumatic brain injury as well as Post-Concussion Syndrome and PTSD.
Hyperbaric Therapy used was 40 sessions at 1.5 ATA for 60 minutes in 30 days.
80% of the subjects reported an improvement in the majority of their symptoms.
IV Glutathione with supportive nutrients are some of our Naturopaths' favorites for augmenting TBI symptoms.
We've seen some of our Edmonton TBI patients respond rapidly and dramatically to IV Glutathione.
For our entire discussion on Hyperbaric medicine and TBI visit our TBI Section