I wonder if any of you have experience with or knowledge of hyperbaric oxygen treatment, or HBOT, for stroke patients. I have run across a fair amount of information about it and though usually cynical about such things I have become quite interested. It involves putting patients in pressurized chambers and having them breathe pure oxygen for 90 minutes per session. It usually takes at least 40 consecutive sessions, at $100 each, to complete the treatment and insurance won't cover it. The theory is that the pure oxygen contains a lot more energy than the kind we usually breathe and that it helps activate brain cells left weak by stroke or other forms of traumatic injury. A small study in Israel is especially exciting in that it found that even people years post-stroke derived benefit from this treatment. It seems that some "dead" brain cells are merely very weak and can be reactivated. It appears that once reactivated they stay that way, which is even better. Of course, there are no guarantees, results vary, it is not a miracle cure and many people are extremely skeptical. At the same time, this type of treatment seems to be gaining favor in reputable medical circles. In short, it doesn't appear to be yet another brand of snake oil. HBOT has been around for a long time but not for stroke treatment. Its more common uses have been for burns, sports injury and that old diver's malady called the bends. HBOT clinics have sprung up around the country. Though not FDA approved for stroke treatment, a prescription is required for HBOT, even when used off label. Anyway, if anyone here has any information about HBOT, I'd love to know about it. As some of you know, I'm an old newspaper writer and though often skeptical about medical "breakthroughs" I run across on the Internet I am forever curious about new things. Information really is power.
I don't want to become part of the problem of spreading false hope to desperate people but if any of you are curious about HBOT I'm posting a link to one of the many articles I've seen about that Israeli study. This one is especially concise and easy to understand.