First evidence of improvement in brain metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease in a patient treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Dr. Paul Harch, Clinical Professor and Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and Dr. Edward Fogarty, Chairman of Radiology at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, report the first PET scan-documented case of improvement in brain metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease in a patient treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

The report, published in the current issue of the peer-reviewed journal Medical Gas Research, is available here.

The authors report the case of a 58-year-old female who had experienced five years of cognitive decline, which began accelerating rapidly. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) suggested Alzheimer’s disease. The diagnosis was confirmed by 18Fluorodeoxyglucose (18FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging, which revealed global and typical metabolic deficits in Alzheimer’s.

The patient underwent a total of 40 HBOT treatments – five days a week over 66 days. Each treatment consisted of 1.15 atmosphere absolute/50 minutes total treatment time. After 21 treatments, the patient reported increased energy and level of activity, better mood and ability to perform daily living activities as well as work crossword puzzles. After 40 treatments, she reported increased memory and concentration, sleep, conversation, appetite, ability to use the computer, more good days (5/7) than bad days, resolved anxiety, and decreased disorientation and frustration. Tremor, deep knee bend, tandem gain, and motor speed were also improved. Repeat 18FDG PET imaging one month post-HBOT showed global 6.5–38% improvement in brain metabolism.

“We demonstrated the largest improvement in brain metabolism of any therapy for Alzheimer’s disease,” notes Dr. Harch. “HBOT in this patient may be the first treatment not only to halt, but temporarily reverse disease progression in Alzheimer’s disease.”
The report also contains video imaging, including unique rotating PET 3D Surface Reconstructions, which allow the lay person to easily see the improvements in brain function.

“PET imaging is used around the world as a biomarker in oncology and cardiology to assay responses to therapy,” says Dr. Fogarty. “We now have an irrefutable biomarker system that this intervention has promise where no other real hope for recovery of dementia has ever existed before.”
The physicians report that two months post-HBOT, the patient felt a recurrence in her symptoms. She was retreated over the next 20 months with 56 HBOTs (total 96) at the same dose, supplemental oxygen, and medications with stability of her symptoms and Folstein Mini-Mental Status exam.

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. It is the most common cause of dementia in older adults. Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people.”

The authors note that four pathological processes have been identified and primary treatment is with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist memantine, which have been shown to have a positive impact on Alzheimer’s disease progression with no significant disease-modifying effects.

HBOT is an epigenetic modulation of gene expression and suppression to treat wounds and disease pathophysiology, particularly inflammation. HBOT targets all four of the pathological processes of AD by affecting the microcirculation; mitochondrial dysfunction, and biogenesis; reducing amyloid burden and tau phosphorylation; controlling oxidative stress; and reducing inflammation.

The first successful HBOT-treated case of Alzheimer’s disease was published in 2001. The present case report is the first patient in a series of 11 HBOT-treated patients with Alzheimer’s disease whose symptomatic improvement is documented with 18fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18FDG PET).“Our results suggest the possibility of treating Alzheimer’s disease long-term with HBOT and pharmacotherapy,” concludes Harch.

Learn more: HBOT Showed Improvement in Alzheimer’s Disease



The Latest on: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

via  Bing News


Hyperbaric Oxygen: A Spectrum of Emerging Treatments


Certified scuba divers are familiar with the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for decompression sickness treatment.

However, in the past 50 years, researchers have revealed HBOT’s broad applications to human physiology and medicine. The outlook for HBOT applications for treating wounds, neurological diseases, and even certain cancers appears promising. What once seemed relevant only for scuba divers has now been discovered to benefit members of the general population.


HBOT involves the administration of pure, 100% oxygen in a compression chamber at pressures above atmospheric levels. The resultant increase of oxygen content in blood yields a broad variety of physiological effects, because increased pressure allows oxygen to saturate more effectively in the body. For scuba divers, this increased oxygen pressure reduces the volume of inert-gas bubbles in blood vessels, reversing air embolism or decompression sickness (Danesh-Sani et al. 2012). Moreover, researchers have described several beneficial influences of HBOT on healing damaged tissues: increased white blood cell activity, reduced swelling, healing time reduction, tissue regeneration, and even synergistic activity with antibiotics (Stru?yna et al. 2008). The Undersea Hyperbaric Medicine Society recommends many applications for HBOT that have proven successful (Table 1). Beyond these now standard uses, several novel research areas demonstrate further beneficial HBOT applications. HBOT applications to wounds, cancers, and neurological and vascular diseases will be discussed below.



Low oxygen content caused by swelling or burns reduces PH and prohibits wound healing. On the other hand, higher oxygen tension improves healing of wounds by stimulating tissue-forming cells (Danesh-Sani et al. 2012). Hyperbaric oxygenation of wounds thus initiates wound-healing events such as tissue and cell generation and resistance to infection (Shah 2010). Furthermore, oxygen helps fight against infections by killing bacteria that cannot tolerate oxygen (Youn 2001). For example, in treating injuries as common as burns, HBOT reduces healing time and number of infections (Stru?yna et al. 2008).

Cholesterol Crystal Embolism (CCE)

Such benefits also apply to patients of cholesterol crystal embolism (CCE), a disease with a high mortality rate. In a case study of a 56-year-old man who developed CCE and who had already undergone an unsuccessful standard treatment, HBOT caused rapid improvement. As seen in Fig. 1, after two months, complete recovery was obtained, leading the authors to conclude that HBOT may serve as an effective treatment in CCE (Gurgo et al., 2011).

Bone Healing

Another known application for HBOT is with bone healing, during which HBOT increases white blood cell activity and tissue formation (Danesh-Sani et al. 2012). Also, HBOT may induce the formation of new blood vessels by stimulating an increase of stem cells within the tissues (Shah 2010). An application of bone-healing effects regards the influence of HBOT on bone tissue after the cessation of smoking. Smoking has proven to delay bone healing and impair blood circulation; however, HBOT mitigates the effects of smoking on bone healing, now proving that bone damage caused by smoking may be reversible (Yen et al. 2008).

Read more . . .

via Scientific American – Jim Haw

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A New Issue For Bitcoin: Crypto Key Disclosure

The debate is still raging whether Bitcoin is a brilliant idea that will revolutionize business and society, a high-tech money laundering scheme, or just a fad that will soon pass into history.

But in a fascinating post, Jon Matonis points to a problem that doesn’t really seem to have been considered before:

Key disclosure laws may become the most important government tool in asset seizures and the war on money laundering. When charged with a criminal offense, that refers to the ability of the government to demand that you surrender your private encryption keys that decrypt your data. If your data is currency such as access control to various amounts of bitcoin on the block chain, then you have surrendered your financial transaction history and potentially the value itself.

That’s no mere theoretical issue in countries like AustraliaSouth Africa and the UK that already have such key disclosure laws.

Matonis reviews the limited US case law here, and concludes:

To say the cryptocurrency bitcoin is disruptive would be an understatement. Bitcoin not only disrupts payments and monetary sovereignty, it also disrupts the legal enforcement of anti-money laundering laws, asset seizure, and capital controls. It is very likely that a key disclosure case will make it to the U.S. Supreme Court where it is far from certain that the Fifth Amendment privilege, as it relates to a refusal to decrypt bitcoin assets, will be universally upheld.

Read more . . .

via TechDirt – Glyn Moody

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