Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy and Stroke
In the journal Stroke, Dr. Richard Neubauer, a pioneer in the use of this therapy for treating various neurological diseases, reported outstanding results in a group of 122 stoke patients treated with HBOT. In one case, significant functional improvement was noted when Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was used 14 years after the initial stroke.
These studies by Dr. Richard Neubauer conclusively demonstrate the development of new blood vessels to the rim of tissue surrounding the area of the brain that had been damaged.
These newly formed blood vessels resulting from the hyperbaric oxygen therapy can then bring fresh blood (oxygen) and nutrients to the damaged tissue. The tissue begins to repair itself and returns to normal or near-normal. These "resuscitated" neurons gradually reconnect to the rest of the brain. These revived neurons and their connections help to return the use of lost cerebral and bodily functions.
Hyperbaric therapy does not resurrect dead brain tissue, but it can facilitate the functioning of those dormant, idling nerve cells that have suffered secondary damage by stroke due to diminished oxygen. Oftentimes, the brain area suffering secondary damage is a larger part of the brain than that which suffered the primary damage. This area of secondary damage to the brain (the ischemic penumbra) is the area that HBOT helps.
Improvements have been achieved, gains have been made, even with patients who are more than a decade post-stroke.
Note: TIA: Transient Ischemic Attack, is a "mini stroke", or "warning stroke" that often produces mild stroke-like symptoms but usually no lasting damage. A TIA is often a forecast of a full-fledged stroke on the horizon, which makes this a good indicator for beginning this therapy.
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