Dec 6, 2017

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

A new study indicates that hyperbaric oxygen treatments may mitigate symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.


Research indicates that Hyperbaric oxygen therapy might be able to reduce the effects of Alzheimer's.
By Alzheimer's Reading Room

"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 Alzheimer's," says Profesor Uri Ashery of Tel Aviv University Sagol School of Neuroscience and the Faculty of Life Sciences



  • 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 treatment has potential to correct behavioral and physical deficits associated with Alzheimer's according to researchers at Tel Aviv University.

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. 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 hyperbaric oxygen therapy were directly demonstrated on Alzheimer-affected brain tissue. 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." ~ Professor Shai Efrati


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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.

American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) supports Israel's most influential, comprehensive and sought-after center of higher learning, Tel Aviv University (TAU).