Approximately 50 million people worldwide live with Alzheimer’s or other related forms of dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease leads to memory loss and impairment in cognitive function and is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.
While certain treatments can help reduce symptoms and sometimes reduce disease progression, there is currently no way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s.
In a new study from Tel Aviv University, researchers developed a process for reversing the precursors of the disease, providing a promising foundation for new preventative therapies.
This marks the first time that a non-drug therapy has proven effective in preventing the core biological processes that lead to the development of Alzheimer’s, providing hope that we will now be able to fight one of the greatest challenges to the Western world.
In the study, the team used hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), in which people breathe 100% oxygen in a special chamber of high atmospheric pressure.
The approach was first tested in laboratory settings followed by testing in patients over the age of 65 in stages of deteriorating mental function that often precedes Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The therapy included a series of 60 treatments in hyperbaric chambers over a period of 90 days.
The researchers were able to reverse brain damages associated with the biological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s.
Often used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning and infections that starve tissues of oxygen, hyperbaric therapy, when applied in a specific way, has previously been found capable of repairing damaged brain tissue and renewing growth of blood vessels and nerve cells in the brain.
Therefore, the researchers tested its potential for Alzheimer’s.
The team says after a series of hyperbaric treatments, elderly patients who were already suffering from memory loss showed an improvement of blood flow to the brain as well as a real improvement in cognitive performance.
The new approach devised by the researchers unequivocally improved characteristics commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, the hyperbaric treatment resulted in:
Improved memory in 16.5% of patients on average
Increased blood flow in 16%-23% of cases
Improved attention and concentration in 6% of patients
Improved information processing speed in 10.3% of all cases
These findings provide hope that we will now be able to fight one of the greatest challenges to the Western world.
According to our findings, hyperbaric therapy given at a young age is likely to prevent this severe disease entirely.
If you care about Alzheimer’s disease, please read studies about a noninvasive treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and findings of subconscious changes in movement may predict Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information about Alzheimer’s and your health, please see recent studies about this new treatment may stop development of Alzheimer’s disease and results showing a new early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study is published in Aging.
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