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How Hyperbaric Oxygen stimulates neurogenesis

Updated: Sep 15, 2023


Introduction

Long-term use of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) stimulates the creation of new brain tissue, in a process referred to neurogenesis. Treatment using hyperbaric oxygen entails exposing the brain tissue to pure oxygen that is above 1.0 atmosphere absolute (ATA) during the respective treatment sessions. Raising the oxygen pressure has the effect of elevating the amount of oxygen transported by erythrocytes. According to previous studies as seen on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23533308 the latter is responsible for peripheral restoration procedures. The partial oxygen has a restorative effect on brain tissue and the central nervous system (CNS) as well. Hyperbaric oxygen is administered at pressures of 1.3-2.5 times the regular atmospheric pressure. The elevated pressure is a summation of regular atmospheric pressure and gauge pressure inside the pressurized compartments. The elevated pressure levels result in an increased amount of dissolved oxygen in plasma. In normal atmospheric conditions, plasma contains about 0.32% of dissolved oxygen since most oxygen is transported to body tissues via hemoglobin contained in the red blood cells. Improved oxygenation around the injured brain tissue creates increased blood flow through new capillaries formed around this part. Constant supply of pure oxygen to the injured brain tissue ensures that it heals faster and the damaged tissue is restored. The oxygen has a neuro-protective effect since it forms a protective barrier around the delicate and injured tissue thus avoiding further damage or even death of the tissue.

How Hyperbaric Oxygen is administered

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is usually given for a few months and is administered via daily sessions. However, the exact details on the exact pressure exerted and duration required during the treatment are determined by the extent of brain tissue damage and the pace of recovery. The medical-grade oxygen is administered via a hood or mask, under the supervision of the special chamber technicians and medical specialists, or more recently patients are opting to purchase their own hyperbaric chambers for their home which reach pressures from 1.3 – 2.0 ATA. Mostly, HBO is prescribed for patients who are undergoing other forms of treatment such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy or neurosurgery. HBO supplements others forms of treatment as the oxygen is able to reach all parts of the brain tissue that these other forms of treatment might not. This also applies for tumors and other forms of malignant growths in the brain tissue as well. It is recommended since it is less painful and destructive to other body tissues. Also, most patients react well to this form of treatment. Its anti-inflammatory properties that take care of the chronic inflammation that is associated with brain tissue damage. This way, it creates an enabling environment for healing and restoration of brain cells to thrive. Those undergoing this form of treatment are able to sleep better, experience milder migraines, improved memory and cognitive functions. It is highly prescribed for brain trauma, cerebral ischemia and epileptic seizure patients, the most common being individuals that have suffered from accidents and lifestyle diseases. The disruptive effects of such happening cause damage of the brainstem that forms the connection between the brain and the central nervous system.

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