Much of what we promote when it comes to hyperbaric oxygen therapy relates to some form of improvement in brain function. Whether this improvement is following traumatic injury, birth injury, degeneration or other neurological deficit, HBOT can significantly improve the response of ischemic brain tissue and cells.
Not all brain injury results in the immediate death of neuronal cells. In many cases the tissue and cells go into an ischemic state following the development of localised hypoxia (low oxygen). These cells are said to be neither dead nor quite alive. They are simply dormant. They have enough oxygen to survive, but not enough to function as they should. The simple solution to this is to re-oxygenate them and resuscitate them to full function. The complication with this is the delivery of oxygen to the hypoxic area in the brain.
In most situations regular oxygen therapy is the standard. especially following trauma or an accident involving the central nervous system or head.
The problem with standard oxygen therapy, as covered in the overview document, is that a patient seldom benefits from 100% oxygen because of mask design and that the pressure doesn’t facilitate any great increase in saturation of oxygen into plasma. As a general rule oxygen is poorly soluble in water. Plasma is largely water and therefore under normal pressure there exists a limit to it’s oxygen carrying characteristics. The result is oxygen transport remains compromised.
HBOT on the other hand allows and facilitates greater saturation of oxygen into plasma thanks to pressure and Henry’s Law previously discussed. Oxygen is also more easily able to bypass any structural damage in the vascular system that may be a consequence of trauma or disease. IE; Vascular dementia, Multiple Sclerosis etc. The oxygen can now transport to places where it could not before. Even outside of the vascular system itself, other bodily fluids become more highly saturated and this too is of benefit.
For more information on Henry’s Law and the physics of how this works please download the overview on the resources and downloads page.
Below is shared an article from our friends at the Tel Aviv University on brain repair and resuscitation of dormant or ischaemic cells. Professor Shai Efrati of the Sackler School of Medicine is one of the world leaders in this field and has favourably reviewed some of the in-house articles available to download. Brain damage can and is often reversed to some degree by HBOT. Even when their is a delay between incidents such as stroke, cardiac arrest and traumatic injury, and treatment.