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How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Intervenes in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurogenerative disorder that mainly occurs in individuals of advanced age, mostly above 60 years. The disorder manifests in the form of both motor and non-motor symptoms. The disorder is caused by damage to brain cells caused by various physiological processes, including neuroinflammation, recurrent trauma, oxidation stress, and exposure to toxins, among others. Some of the common symptoms of the disorder that affect various cognitive functions include tremors, fatigue, irregular sleeping patterns, gait peculiarities, moodiness, muscle rigidity, sluggish movement, and blurred speech, among others. Depression and anxiety result, and in severe cases, patients have a propensity to engage in self-harm activities such as suicide. Some of the common forms of treatment for the disorder include medication such as anti-Parkinsonian agents for PD and citalopram and pramipexole for depression and anxiety that accompany the disorder. Hyperbaric has also been applied quite widely as an adjunct therapy. It improves the efficacy of other forms of treatment, such as drug treatment.

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Works

Increased cerebral tissue oxygenation after HBOT sessions results in increased cell metabolism and repair of injured or damaged parts of the brain, causing PD. Neurons producing dopamine undergo healing and regeneration of new blood vessels, leading to optimal release of dopamine. Control of various body movements is regained, thus reducing and eventually handling the tremors, muscle rigidity, and difficulty in walking and taking on various basic tasks. Increased metabolism boosts energy levels, leaving the patients in better moods and increasing motivation to take on various tasks. It also reduces the proportions of hopelessness, anxiety, and depression associated with the disorder. 

HBOT improves cognitive functions affected by the disorder by reducing neuroinflammation affecting the brain and the central and peripheral nervous systems. By reducing inflammation, the performance of the tissues in the brain cortex is improved to optimal levels. Increased cognitive function results in improved vitality, sleep quality, gait speed, balance, concentration, coordination, and working memory. HBOT also improves the neuroplasticity of the brain. The brain is able to adapt aptly to changing neural networks caused by a myriad of factors. Features such as blood plasma, red blood cells, and cerebrospinal fluids are wired to adjust to the changing neural circuits. This ensures that the body and brain act normally and are not overwhelmed due to the rapid changes. 

In the long run, HBOT results in increased quality of life since patients are able to get back to physical functioning and improve their mental health state. Consistent use of HBOT is economical and efficient compared to other forms of treatment. It is also noninvasive and has minimal to zero side effects for different patients. 


Hsu, H.-T., Yang, Y.-L., Chang, W.-H., Fang, W.-Y., Huang, S.-H., Chou, S.-H., & Lo, Y.-C. (2022). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves Parkinson’s disease by promoting mitochondrial biogenesis via the SIRT-1/pgc-1α pathway. Biomolecules, 12(5), 661-668.  

Xu, J.-J., Yang, S.-T., Sha, Y., Ge, Y.-Y., & Wang, J.-M. (2018). Hyperbaric oxygen treatment for parkinson’s disease with severe depression and anxiety. Medicine, 97(9), 42–47.  



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