A stroke is a serious condition caused by a clot or hemorrhage of a blood vessel in the brain, causing inadequate blood flow and oxygenation to the tissues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strokes affect about 795,000 people in the United States each year.
Effects of stroke
Strokes can cause significant impairment in language, cognition, and motor skills and effects can last for years. Depending on the extent and location of the stroke; symptoms of weakness, paralysis, visual disturbances, speech difficulties, and sometimes loss of consciousness or death can occur.
How can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) assist in stroke rehabilitation?
Traditional stroke rehabilitation options include physical, occupational and speech therapy; but studies have shown that adding HBOT can dramatically improve results even years after the stroke occurred.
The brain consumes 20 percent of the body’s oxygen, but that is only enough oxygen to operate 5 to 10 percent of neurons at any one time. The regeneration process requires much more energy. The tenfold increase in oxygen levels during HBOT treatment supplies the necessary energy for rebuilding neuronal connections and stimulating inactive neurons to facilitate the healing process.
A recent study conducted in Tel Aviv showed significantly increased neuronal activity in post-stroke patients after a two-month period of HBOT treatment compared to control periods of non-treatment. The results indicate that HBOT treatment can lead to significant improvement in brain function in post-stroke patients even at chronically late stages, helping neurons strengthen and build new connections in damaged regions. Patients experienced improvements such as a reversal of paralysis, increased sensation, and renewed use of language.
Although Medicare does not cover HBOT for stroke at this time, more studies are underway to prove the cost effectiveness and incredible benefits of HBOT for stroke.
Studies & Reviews
- Hyperbaric Oxygenation In The Acute Stroke
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Induces Late Neuroplasticity in Post Stroke Patients – Randomized, Prospective Trial
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Improves neurocognitive functions of post stroke patients a retrospective analysis
- Hyperbaric Oxygen in the Treatment of Patients with Cerebral Stroke, Brain Trauma and Neurological Disease
- Reversal of Residual Stroke Symptoms Using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
- Identification of hypometabolic areas in the brain using brain imaging and hyperbaric oxygen
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Promotes neurogenesis: where do we stand?
- Hypoxia and Hyperbaric Oxygen Thearpy: A Review
- An Extra Breath of Fresh Air: Hyperbaric Oxygenation as a Stroke Therapeutic
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Stroke
Stroke (Breathing Your Way to Wellness with Brian Propp)
Life of Brian (Breathing Your Way to Wellness with Brian Propp)
Kenneth Vann, US Air Force
“I had a stroke in March of 2010. The stroke was so severe that I was left paralyzed on the right side from the neck down. I also lost my speech. I went from being energetic and healthy to being totally disabled. This was devastating to me, but I was determined to get the most out of rehab. I also researched my condition to find other avenues of help. I first found out about hyperbaric oxygen in January of 2011, but the closest clinic was in northern Jersey which was too far a commute every other day. I continued to check the research over the next four years and I came across Oxygen Oasis Hyperbaric Wellness Center in July of 2015.
When I first came to Oxygen Oasis, I had severe deficits of the right hand and wrist. I could barely turn my wrist and had very little movement in my fingers. I also had moderate deficits in my right foot and ankle that relegated me to walking with a brace made for foot drop. After my first 20 “dives”, I noticed improvement in my fingers and I was able to turn my wrist. The next 20 “dives” showed an obvious improvement in my fingers and hand as I was able to shake hands with people. This was something that I could not do before. Unfortunately, there was very little improvement with my foot and ankle, as I am still relegated to wearing the brace, but I am hopeful that with 40 more hyperbaric treatments that I will see great improvement in this area as well. I want to thank Oxygen Oasis and Chambers for Hope for giving me the opportunity to repair my body, and I am truly grateful for the results that I received. You are doing a great service for our nation’s veterans and we all really do appreciate it. I am looking forward to returning to “complete” the mission.”