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Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy the Solution to Dementia?

The technique improved cerebral blood flow in elderly patients by 16-23%, improving vascular dysfunction.

A recent article discussed a new method for combating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. A team of researchers at Tel Aviv University has devised a specific hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) intended to reverse the hallmarks of the disease and restore cognitive function. It is the first non-drug therapy that has been proven to prevent the natural biological processes that cause Alzheimer’s disease.

During hyperbaric therapy, the patient is kept in a sealed chamber that is pressurized much higher than normal sea level conditions, and they breathe air composed of 100% oxygen. HBOT is safe, and is currently used to treat a variety of conditions, but interest has recently shifted to the repair of damaged brain tissue and the renewed growth of blood vessels and nerve cells in the brain. 

During trials, the team recorded increased blood flow of 16-23% and a 16.5% average memory improvement. Paired with early detection, the therapy would be most beneficial if started before the physical deterioration of brain tissue has begun. 

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