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How to Manage Multiple sclerosis (MS) using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disorder that mainly affects the neurological system. The degenerative disorder is characterized by inflammation. The disorder is most rampant amongst the young and middle-aged population. Some of the common symptoms of the autoimmune disorder include fatigue, frequency of urination, development of lesions, impaired vision, and inability to take on essential cognitive functions such as movement, balance, and coordination. In more severe cases, patients experience memory loss, numbness, and chronic pain. MS is most common amongst individuals residing in Northern Europe or those hailing from this ancestry. It is estimated that the disorder affects 1 in every 400 adults in the region. Some of the forms of treatment that are explored include oral arsenic, intrathecal injections, subscription to a gluten-free diet, engaging in exercises, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). 

Mechanism of Action

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can slow down or reverse the progress of the disorder. Some of the processes that increased oxygenation addresses include demyelination and gliosis that occur in the central nervous system (CNS). Also, the blood-brain barrier that is broken by the disorder is restored. The introduction of oxygen ensures that the endothelial blood-brain barrier is performing optimally, which includes barring pro-inflammatory T-cells from crossing and getting to the brain. The human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells ensure that inflammatory cell migration into the brain is disabled. The anti-inflammatory effects of HBOT are able to address the patchy inflammation and lesions associated with the disorder. HBOT boosts cognitive functioning, which MS. compromises. This especially applies to mobility and coordination, which includes bladder functioning. Tissue destruction that occurs as a result of the neurodegenerative disorder is restored as well. 

Increased tissue oxygenation results in restored function of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord; the resultant effect is improved coordination and transmission of signals from the brain to the rest of the body. Increased tissue oxygenation also boosts the release of growth factors and stem cells, which play an essential role in the repair of affected nerve cells. Overall, HBOT improves the quality of life led by individuals living with MS. They are able to experience lesser to zero relapse rates as a result of proper management. Also, the disorder is kept at bay as HBOT ensures it does not progress to levels where it cannot be controlled. 


Chiou, H.-Y. C., Huang, S.-H., Hung, C.-H., Tsai, S.-M., Kuo, H.-R., Huang, Y.-R., Wang, J.-W., Chen, S.-C., Kuo, C.-H., Wu, D.-C., Huang, S.-K., Hsu, S.-H., & Lin, M.-H. (2021). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy alleviates the autoimmune encephalomyelitis via the reduction of IL-17A and GM-CSF production of autoreactive T cells as well as boosting the immunosuppressive IL-10 in the central nervous system tissue lesions. Biomedicines, 9(8), 943–949.   

Moore, L., Eggleton, P., Smerdon, G., Newcombe, J., Holley, J. E., Gutowski, N. J., & Smallwood, M. (2020). Engagement of people with multiple sclerosis to enhance research into the physiological effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, 43(5), 84–96.  





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