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hyperbaric oxygen proposed as treatment in new study

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Alzheimer’s illness, the most typical type of dementia, has lengthy been related to a build-up of plaques (clumps of protein) in the mind. Scientists in Israel have proven {that a} sort of oxygen remedy can cease new plaques forming and even take away present plaques in mice with Alzheimer’s.

The scientists used a mouse mannequin of Alzheimer’s illness referred to as 5xFAD. The genetically modified mice had been handled with hyperbaric oxygen remedy to see if they may halt or sluggish the illness development.

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy includes respiration pure oxygen in a pressurised chamber. Within the chamber, the air stress is elevated two to 3 occasions larger than regular air stress. It’s generally used to deal with decompression illness (a situation scuba divers can undergo from), carbon monoxide poisoning, and a few types of stroke or mind harm. It really works by forcing elevated oxygenation of tissues with low oxygen ranges (hypoxia). And it might enhance blood move to the mind to nourish mind cells which are normally disadvantaged of blood, and therefore oxygen, in Alzheimer’s illness.

The scientists, from the College of Tel Aviv, handled 15 six-month-old mice (about 30 human years) with hyperbaric oxygen remedy for an hour a day, 5 days every week for 4 weeks. The remedy not solely decreased the quantity and measurement of plaques in the brains of the mice, it additionally slowed the formation of new plaques, in contrast with a management group of mice who didn’t obtain hyperbaric oxygen remedy.

Blood move to the mind is decreased in folks with Alzheimer’s. This study confirmed elevated blood move to the mind in the mice receiving oxygen remedy, which helps with the clearance of plaques from the mind, and reduces irritation – a trademark of Alzheimer’s.

By enhancing blood move to the mind, decreasing plaque ranges and decreasing hypoxia, the mice present process day by day oxygen remedy started to indicate enhancements to their cognitive skills, such as their spatial recognition reminiscence as nicely as contextual reminiscence – the power to recollect emotional, social, spatial or temporal circumstances associated to an occasion.

Beta-amyloid plaques (orange) clumping round mind cells (blue).
Science Picture Library/Alamy Inventory Picture

Not simply mice

The researchers then used these findings to evaluate the effectiveness of oxygen remedy in six folks over the age of 65 with cognitive decline. They discovered that 60 periods of oxygen remedy, over 90 days, elevated blood move in sure areas of the mind and considerably improved the sufferers’ cognitive skills – improved reminiscence, consideration and data processing velocity.

An earlier study discovered that oxygen remedy decreased plaques in the mind in one other mouse mannequin of Alzheimer’s illness. And, earlier than that, my colleagues and I published a study in Scientific Stories which confirmed that pure oxygen at regular atmospheric stress can improve the blood quantity in the brains of six-month-old mice with Alzheimer’s illness, and this could possibly improve the clearance of plaques from the mind.

Taken collectively, these findings counsel that oxygen remedy could possibly scale back cognitive decline related to ageing and dementia in each mice and other people.

“I don’t suppose this may ‘remedy’ Alzheimer’s in people,” Professor Uri Ashery, lead creator of the analysis, told The Times of Israel, “nevertheless it could possibly considerably sluggish its development and severity.”

Nevertheless, it is very important observe that the Israeli study was too small to attract any agency conclusions. Additionally, 60 periods of pressurised oxygen remedy lasting an hour every is just not possible for most individuals.

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy can’t but be supplied at house or in a care house, the place most individuals with Alzheimer’s will likely be based mostly. And day by day visits to a hospital or clinic just isn’t a sensible factor to do for most individuals with the illness.

The chambers price as much as £100,000, with round an extra £1,500 on upkeep a 12 months. And coverings price between £40 and £250 per session. On condition that there are near 1,000,000 folks with dementia in the UK alone, it’s clear that providing each affected person hyperbaric oxygen remedy for 60 days just isn’t at the moment workable or economically viable. And the outcomes, whereas promising in mice, nonetheless should be confirmed in folks with Alzheimer’s in giant medical trials.

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