A prematurely aged brain has suffered years of abuse from our ever-increasingly toxic environment and unhealthy lifestyles. There is extensive research that shows HBOT may have an effect in rejuvenating a patient’s brain by stimulating the production of new blood vessels. Increased oxygen in the blood flow will re-energize dormant cells in the brain and create new ones.
Oxygen to increase the energy supplied to the brain
The brain is known to utilize almost all oxygen and energy delivered, it receives about 20% of body oxygen, 15% of cardiac output and 25% of total body glucose to sustain about 5-10% of active neurons. The processes to regenerate brain repair after brain injury would require much supplemental energy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help increase oxygen levels in the blood and body tissues to supply the necessary energy to the brain in order to improve brain metabolism.
HBOT is known to activate angiogenesis and neuroplasticity – stimulation of dormant neurons, creation of new synapses and axonal connections – a multifactorial repair to help the brain breathe new life into its metabolism.
HBOT for traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered the principal cause of death and disability in the world. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is very effective in improving brain function and quality of life for TBI patients suffering chronic neurocognitive impairments. In a brain with multiple injuries, oxygen may not reach the damaged part resulting in hypoxia. Medical investigations show that favorable results of HBO for TBI patients happen after therapy sessions, when the brain is better able to use baseline oxygen levels, rather than during treatment, when the brain is just absorbing oxygen.
HBO in Neurological Disorders
The main working mechanisms of HBO in neurological disorders are targeted to relieve hypoxia and improve microcirculation, relieve cerebral edema using the vasoconstrictive effects of higher pressure, preserve partially damaged tissue and prevent progression of auxiliary effects of cerebral lesions, also to improve cerebral metabolism.
Relief of Cerebral Hypoxia
Oxygen deficiency is the cause of a pathological array of aggravating circumstances starting from the primary brain damage to hypoxia, aggravation of hypoxia, reaching to secondary brain damage. The object of HBO therapy in brain injuries is to supply the brain tissue with adequate oxygen and to interrupt this process. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy plays an important role in the management of hypoxia and ischemia involved in the pathophysiology of several disorders of the nervous system.
Improved oxygen delivery
HBO is directed to improve oxygen delivery to anoxic tissue, thus decreasing vasogenic brain edema and raised intracranial pressure, also to improve aerobic metabolism, an adjunct therapy for patients with insufficient positive responses to standard methods of treatment for severe brain injury. HBO addresses the effects of ischemia and hypoxia associated with cerebral edema and interrupts the cycle of hypoxia/edema.
HBOT for neuroprotection strategies
HBOT is considered a major neuroprotective agent, part of a series of neuroprotective strategies designed to protect the brain against the toxic effects of chemicals and drugs. Highly recommended for the management of neurodegenerative afflictions, including acute conditions such as CNS trauma cerebral ischemia and iatrogenic hypoxia/ischemia during surgical procedures.