A stroke can be devastating to both the patient and their family. Recovering from a stroke can take weeks to months, sometimes years. Technically, a stroke is either a blood clot or a bleed in the brain, but both scenarios cause a loss of circulation to parts of the brain. When circulation is lost, so is oxygen. This lack of oxygen can affect many different functions in the brain, with most stroke patients having difficulty walking, speaking, and using their muscles appropriately.
Hyperbaric oxygen is exactly the right tool for this problem! If strokes cause a loss of oxygen to the brain, then hyperbaric oxygen helps to replace it and repair the damaged tissue. Much of the brain tissue that surrounds the initial injury (clot or bleed) is not dead, it’s just in a state of limbo because it’s not getting enough blood and oxygen to continue to do its job. Once we increase the oxygen with the hyperbaric treatment, those cells reawaken and can start functioning again.
A recent neurology journal article published in August 2015, found that hyperbaric oxygen treatment was found to induce modest, but statistically significant improvement in memory, attention and executive function. Some of these patients had been impaired for over 7 years before receiving the hyperbaric treatment.
Another article from July 2015, showed significant improvement in all levels of memory impairments after a stroke, even years after the event. In fact, over the last few years, there is research that shows how hyperbaric oxygen therapy initiates blood vessel repair, improves brain circulation, induces new nerve growth and reduces inflammation and swelling in the brain.
After a stroke, there is very little that standard medical practice has to offer; usually some physical therapy and blood thinners. Luckily, we finally have some real answers to heal the brain and regain our life back. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is that answer!