Can Hyperbaric Therapy For Stroke Benefit Patients?

Hyperbaric Therapy For Patients

Hyperbaric Therapy! Strokes are one of the primary causes of disabilities among people in The United States. The extent and permanence of the disabilities caused by a stroke will depend largely on one factor, which is the supply of oxygen in the brain. Strokes disrupt the flow of oxygen to the human brain, which in turn causes rapid cell death, often leading to irreversible damage.

The stroke patient may suffer from a variety of disabilities, depending on the part of the brain that has been deprived of oxygen. To rehabilitate these patients and help them recover, doctors try to stimulate the brain so that it can repair the damaged cells, or at least work around the damage to create new connections and neural pathways.

One of the alternative treatment options that have been found to be very effective in improving the physical and mental functioning of stroke victims is known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT. Hyperbaric therapy for stroke recovery is popular among physicians and patients alike because of its effectiveness as well as its painless and non-invasive nature.

HBOT can improve the supply of oxygen in the human body and trigger stem cell regeneration with little by way of risk or drawback. While hyperbaric therapy for stroke might be slightly expensive, there are various options available for patients who want to give this treatment a try. The duration for which HBOT is administered will depend on the extent and severity of the damage.

All You Need to Know About a Stroke

A stroke is essentially an attack of the brain. Hence, it functions in ways that are very similar to heart attacks. A ruptured artery or a blood clot often disrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to specific parts of the brain. If the disruption is caused by a blood clot, it is known as an ischemic stroke, while a disruption caused by a ruptured artery leads to a hemorrhagic stroke.

If the disruption is a temporary one, the flow of blood and oxygen is quickly restored and very little damage is caused. On the other hand, if the disruption is permanent, the resultant oxygen deprivation causes brain cells to start dying rapidly. In such cases, the type, location, and severity of the stroke will determine the extent of damage and the consequent disabilities in the patient.

Strokes have been known to cause disabilities that are both temporary and permanent. Some of the disabilities that commonly occur after a stroke are paralysis, problems with talking and swallowing, reduced capacity for self-care, loss of muscle control, memory loss, communication and comprehension issues, chronic pain, emotional problems, and changes in behavior.

Hyperbaric Therapy for Stroke Recovery

Hyperbaric therapy is used by physicians to expose stroke-damaged brain tissues to concentrated, pure oxygen. Such exposure to pure oxygen can facilitate greater neuroplasticity, thus enhancing the rate of recovery. The brain develops new neural pathways and connections to work around damaged cells and tissues through the mechanism known as neuroplasticity.

This process helps repair and restore the physical and mental functions impacted by the stroke. Researchers have found that consistent exposure to heightened levels of oxygen can activate the process of neuroplasticity.

Other ways in which this mechanism can be stimulated include exercises, repetitive movements, and physiotherapy. Inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, a stroke patient can receive all the oxygen they need to facilitate angiogenesis, stem cell regeneration, and neuroplasticity, which are some of the processes required for effective stroke recovery.

About 20 percent of the oxygen available in the human body is consumed by the brain. As a result of this, however, only a small portion of the brain can be operational at any given moment in time. For the purpose of neuroplasticity, much more than the usual amount of oxygen is required by the brain.

This extra oxygen is supplied by HBOT, which is one of the primary benefits of using hyperbaric therapy for stroke treatment. After a few months of hyperbaric therapy, stroke patients often report a range of functional improvements, including reduced aphasia, increased muscle control, and reversal of paralysis.

The HBOT Process

During a hyperbaric session, the air pressure inside the HBOT chamber is increased to more than thrice the normal pressure at sea level. This increased atmospheric pressure enables oxygen to enter the bloodstream and dissolve into the plasma, the cerebrospinal fluid, and other bodily fluids.

As a result, the additional oxygen is quickly transported to various parts of the body and the brain, even those areas that had so far been deprived of oxygen due to damaged or blocked blood vessels. At least a few sessions inside a high-quality hyperbaric chamber are required in order to fully activate the process of neuroplasticity.

The exact number of sessions, and the duration of each session, will depend largely on the extent of the disability caused by the stroke. Each hyperbaric session usually lasts somewhere between sixty to ninety minutes. For the best results, a high-quality hyperbaric chamber, manufactured by a trusted company or brand, should be used.

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