Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that causes brain to shrink (causing condition called atrophy). The brain cells also die faster in people suffering from Alzheimer’s. A little more information on the neurons (nerve cells in the brain) here for you – 32,000 neurons die every second in the brain. That is around 19 lakh neurons dying every minute in the brain. Brain regenerates neurons and when the regeneration is less than the death rate, that’s when the functioning of brain is affected. Alzheimer’s causes dementia. Dementia is condition when a person’s thinking deteriorates and his/her behavioural and social skills are affected in a way that he/she cannot live and function independently.
Scientists in Israel genetically modified the genes of mice so that they get Alzheimer’s disease. Once the mice started showing symptoms of the disease, they were treated with HBOT every day for 2 weeks and the results were “Extremely Exciting”. The mice showed significant reduction in physical and behavioural symptoms after treating with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
In the United States, the deaths from heart problems fell by 14% during 2000 – 2014 while the deaths from Alzheimer’s rose by 89%.
HBOT has great potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease
In many of our articles, we have detailed how HBOT works and what happens to a person’s body when he/she is inside a HBOT chamber. If you are interested in reading about the same, please visit our ‘What is HBOT?’ page. The US FDA has approved using HBOT to treat 13 different types of conditions but there are several other medical conditions that scientists have found that HBOT can do miracles. To read about the conditions that can be treated with HBOT, please visit ‘Conditions treated by HBOT’.
In short, the pressure inside a HBOT chamber is usually 2 to 3 times higher than atmospheric pressure and the oxygen is at 99 to 100%. As a result, the person will breath around 3 to 6 times higher amount of oxygen during the therapy. The increased level of oxygen in the blood is supplied to every cell of the body where it is very much needed for proper functioning. In the case of Alzheimer’s patient, as more oxygen is supplied, the cells that die is reduced and the production of new cells will be improved thereby minimising the symptoms of the disease.
As per a study, HBOT has been tested for several neurological conditions but its effects on Alzheimer’s disease have never been examined in detail.
How did HBOT reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s in mice?
Scientists in a research induced Alzheimer’s disease by genetically modifying them. As a result, the genetically engineered mice started showing the symptoms of the disease. Though not 100% like humans do, most of the symptoms displayed were similar.
They also custom built a HBOT chamber for the modified mice and started treating them for 1 hour a day for 14 days. Simultaneously, another group of healthy mice were also given the same treatment. Upon completion of the therapy, scientists observed the changes in behaviour and the brain tissue to see the effects of HBOT on modified mice. What they observed was really surprising and exiting. They have noticed biological and biochemical changes in the brain and the inflammation of the brain was reduced significantly.
“HBOT reduced oxygen starvation; “amyloidal burden” was also reduced in the mice with Alzheimer’s. They also noticed improved behavioural symptoms in these mice “. Compared to healthy mice, HBOT therapy showed a 40% reduction of brain inflammation and disease-related plaque in the brain. These findings clearly showed the positive effects of HBOT on mice with neurological conditions.