Alzheimer’s is a Neurological disease that slowly destroys brain cells and is eventually fatal. Alzheimer’s causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, many doctors treat the symptoms with a variety of medications to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine and regulate the activity of glutamate. Did you know that nearly 2 out of 3 patients are misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's through PET scans? (PET Scan Readings Lead to Alzheimer's Misdiagnosis)
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) can slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. In a study by Neurologist Constantino Ladecola researchers found that Alzheimer’s is linked to poor blood flow in the brain. Patients in HBOT receive 2000% more Oxygen during their treatment compared to the 21 % at sea level. When the body is under pressure in an Oxygenated environment the tissues and fluids are saturated with Oxygen, this enables Oxygen to get to places in the brain it otherwise would not.
Brain imaging can be performed before and after a cycle (20-40 treatments) of HBOT to show the increased blood flow in the brain. This increased blood flow keeps the brain cells from being destroyed from the disease, hence slowing down the progression.
Neurogenesis (growth of new brain cells) in the adult human brain. Does Neurogenesis also occur in mature humans?
“In a fascinating line of research, a team of scientists from California and Sweden (Eriksson et al, 1998) used similar methods to explore this question in a group of terminally ill cancer patients. These findings demonstrate new neurons are produced in the adult human brain, and that our brains renew themselves throughout life to an extent previously thought not possible.”
Cognitive Neuroscience the Biology of the Mind, Third Edition. Azzarriga Ivry and Magnus.
Remember, HBOT increases our own stem cells by a factor of 8 (800%)!
Cortical (Brain) maps and experience
Michael Merzenich at the University of California San Francisco; and Jon Kaas (1995) at Vandebilt University found the Cortex can be modified by experience. The size and shape of these maps can be altered by experience, even in adult animals.
Leslie Ungerleider and colleagues (Karni te al, 1995) at the National Institute of Mental Health researched plasticity in the adult motor system. They asked volunteers to touch thumb and finger in a particular sequence with one hand a few minutes each day. There were greater changes in blood flow in motor cortex for trained vs untrained sequences after a few weeks.
Recent evidence indicates that cortical reorganization can occur after 15 to 30 minutes of practice. (Clarsen et al 1998)
Mechanisms of Cortical Plasticity
In both humans and other animals, changes in cortical mapping can be detected essentially immediately after the change in sensory input or motor activity. There appears to be three distinct mechanisms: two that account for short term changes and a separate mechanism for very long term effects.
Rapid changes probably reflect both the unveiling of weak connections that already exist in the cortex through both release from inhibition and changes in the efficacy of synapses.
Longer-term plasticity may result from growth of new synapse and/or axons.
**** Please note, the information contained herein is for educational purposes only. We want to help you to make an educated decision about your health care. Please consult a physician before pursuing any kind of therapy.
A prescription is required for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
"New Frontiers: Anti-Aging Properties of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy" by Richard A. Neubauer, MD, Pavel I. Yutsis, MD
"Stem Cell Mobilization by Hyperbaric Oxygen" by Stephen R. Thom, Veena M. Bhopale, Omaida C. Velazquez, Lee, J. Goldstein, Lynne H. Thom, & Donald G. Buerk
"Memory Loss & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy" by Paul S. Fitzgerald
"MedHelp" blog, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Alzheimer's question
"Alzheimer's Study links poor blood flow" by Malcom Ritter, The Associated Press