The Alzheimer’s Association defines dementia as “a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.” The two most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The former caused by shrinkage of the brain due to a toxic build-up of Amyloid-beta and the latter is primarily caused by a history of strokes or mini-strokes resulting from ongoing vascular disease. Both types are characterized by a decrease in oxygen to the brain (hypoxia), and for that reason, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has an immensely beneficial impact in treating these conditions.
HBOT has the ability to push oxygen deep into the brain, improving oxygen levels to damaged or oxygen-poor regions. HBOT also helps to rehabilitate those with vascular dementia, by returning vitality to those parts of the body, damaged by past strokes. In a recent study, HBOT was also shown to activate the neuroplasticity of the brain tissue. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience. This brain healing capability means that healing can occur in all cognitive impaired patients even with poststroke patients. The addition of Neurofeedback therapy with HBOT stimulates the brain to both heal and rewire to regain optimal function.