Alzheimer sufferers potentially have some great news out of LSU Health New Orleans: A patient who underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy showed a big improvement in their mental and physical faculties. Director of Hyperbaric Medicine Dr. Paul Harch says the patient reported increased quality of life, and a brain scan showed a 38 percent increase in brain metabolism after undergoing the restorative therapy.

“The largest sets of genes to get turned on with this therapy are the growth and repair hormone genes that grow new tissue, and the anti-inflammatory genes.”

The patient was a 58-year-old woman who had experienced five years of cognitive decline.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has caught on in sports medicine and other healing focused fields, but this is one of the first looks at its benefits in relation to cognitive disorders.

Harch says patient undergos 40 sessions at 50 minutes each.

“Most of them are single person chambers, a horizontal tube that is clear acrylic. You then elevate the pressure and oxygen levels for a period of time.”

After 40 treatments, the patient reported increased memory and concentration and had more good days than bad days.

Harch cautioned that this was not a formal study or clinical trial, but the limited sample size does give reason to be optimistic.

“She was the first that we were able to document her improvement with what is considered the gold standard for imaging and documentation of changes in the brain in Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America.

More From News Talk 96.5 KPEL