Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

December 5, 2017
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease
Credit: Tel Aviv University

A new Tel Aviv University study reveals that hyperbaric oxygen treatments may ameliorate symptoms experienced by patients with Alzheimer's disease.

"This revolutionary treatment for Alzheimer's disease uses a hyperbaric chamber, which has been shown in the past to be extremely effective in treating wounds that were slow to heal," says Prof. Uri Ashery of TAU's Sagol School of Neuroscience and the Faculty of Life Sciences, who led the research for the study. "We have now shown for the first time that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can actually improve the pathology of Alzheimer's disease and correct behavioral deficits associated with the disease.

"This research is extremely exciting as it explores a new therapy that holds promise as a treatment of Alzheimer's disease," Prof. Ashery says.

The research was conducted by PhD student Ronit Shapira of TAU's Faculty of Life Sciences; Prof. Beka Solomon and Dan Frenkel of TAU's Sagol School of Neuroscience and Faculty of Life Sciences; and Prof. Shai Efrati of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Sagol School of Neuroscience and Assaf-Harofeh Medical Center. It was published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

Patients who undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy for different conditions breathe in pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. In this chamber, the air pressure is increased to twice that of normal air. Under these conditions, oxygen solubility in the blood increases and is transported by blood vessels throughout the body. The added oxygen stimulates the release of growth factors and stem cells, which themselves promote healing.

The TAU scientists used a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease and built a custom-made hyperbaric oxygen chamber suitable for small animals. Then, over the course of 14 days, the team administered hyperbaric oxygen treatment to the mice for one hour per day. After 14 days, the mice underwent a series of behavioral tests as well as tissue biochemical tests to understand how hyperbaric oxygen treatment affects the pathological hallmarks associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The treatment reduced behavioral deficiencies compared to the non-transgenic control mice, reduced plaque pathology by 40%, and reduced neuroinflammation by about 40%.

"There are serious clinical implications to this research," says Shapira, principal investigator of the study. "Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is a well-tolerated and safe therapy used in clinics around the world for various medical conditions, including neurological disorders. Although further research is needed to elucidate the underlying beneficial mechanisms of the therapy and to evaluate its beneficial effects in various Alzheimer patient populations, it holds great potential for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease."

"In this hallmark study, the beneficial physiological effects of were directly demonstrated on Alzheimer-affected brain tissue," says Prof. Efrati. "We assume that the main challenge in human use will be to initiate the treatment at early stages before significant amount of brain tissue is lost."

The researchers are currently testing the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen on an additional mouse model of Alzheimer's disease to investigate the mechanisms underlying its impact on the disease.

Explore further: Hyperbaric oxygen chambers aren't cure-alls, FDA warns

More information: Ronit Shapira et al, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy ameliorates pathophysiology of 3xTg-AD mouse model by attenuating neuroinflammation, Neurobiology of Aging (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.10.007

Related Stories

Hyperbaric oxygen chambers aren't cure-alls, FDA warns

August 22, 2013
(HealthDay)—Despite claims on some websites, there is no evidence that hyperbaric oxygen therapy cures or is an effective treatment for diseases such as cancer, autism, diabetes or other diseases, the U.S. Food and Drug ...

Oxygen treatment beneficial in diabetes-prone mice

May 8, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Hyperbaric oxygen treatment of a preclinical diabetes mouse model reduces the incidence of diabetes and preserves insulin-producing β-cells, according to a study published online May 7 in Diabetes.

O2 and hyperbaric oxygen therapy reverses brain damage in drowned toddler

July 17, 2017
Dr. Paul Harch, Clinical Professor and Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and Dr. Edward Fogarty, at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, report the case of the reversal ...

Oxygen chamber therapy may ease fibromyalgia, study suggests

June 24, 2015
(HealthDay)—The majority of women with fibromyalgia who underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy—best known for treating "the bends" in scuba divers—experienced relief from pain and other symptoms, a small study found.

High-pressure oxygen can effectively treat fibromyalgia

July 14, 2015
Fibromyalgia is almost impossible to diagnose. The chronic pain syndrome strikes an estimated 1 in 70 Americans, most of them women. The disorder is often triggered by head trauma, a neurological infection, or severe emotional ...

Hyperbaric oxygen Tx beneficial for systemic sclerosis ulcers

March 17, 2017
(HealthDay)—Adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) may be beneficial for treatment of systemic sclerosis (SSc) ulcers, according to a report published online Feb. 23 in the International Journal of Dermatology.

Recommended for you

Canola oil linked to worsened memory and learning ability in Alzheimer's

December 7, 2017
Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in the world, yet surprisingly little is known about its effects on health. Now, a new study published online December 7 in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers ...

Genetics study suggests that education reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease

December 7, 2017
The theory that education protects against Alzheimer's disease has been given further weight by new research from the University of Cambridge, funded by the European Union. The study is published today in the BMJ.

Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's

December 6, 2017
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and neurodegeneration worldwide. A major hallmark of the disease is the accumulation of toxic plaques in the brain, formed by the abnormal aggregation of a protein called ...

Alzheimer's damage in mice reduced with compound that targets APOE gene

December 6, 2017
People who carry the APOE4 genetic variant face a substantial risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.

Lithium in water associated with slower rate of Alzheimer's disease deaths

December 5, 2017
Rates of diabetes and obesity, which are important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, also decrease if there is a particular amount of lithium in the water, says the study, published recently in the Journal of Alzheimer's ...

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

December 5, 2017
A new Tel Aviv University study reveals that hyperbaric oxygen treatments may ameliorate symptoms experienced by patients with Alzheimer's disease.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.