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Pressure chamber treatment resulted in significant improvement in mice with Alzheimer's

The results of the new study by researchers from Tel Aviv University were recently published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging

Illustration of a pressure chamber at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. Credit: Tamir Noi, courtesy of Tel Aviv University.
Illustration of a pressure chamber at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. Credit: Tamir Noi, courtesy of Tel Aviv University.

A new and revolutionary treatment for Alzheimer's disease: researchers from Tel Aviv University brought about a significant improvement in model mice for Alzheimer's disease through treatment in a pressure chamber (hyperbaric oxygen) - a recognized and accepted method, which has the potential for immediate clinical use.

The new study was conducted by researchers from the Segol School of Neuroscience and the Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University: Prof. Uri Ashari and PhD student Ronit Shapira from the Department of Neurobiology, Prof. Bekah Solomon from the Department of Biotechnology, Prof. Dan Frankel from the Department of Neurobiology and Prof. Shai Efrati from the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and the Segol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in the elderly population. Although significant steps have been taken in understanding the disease in recent decades, there is still no effective treatment for the disease.

"In this disease, a large number of processes are affected, such as oxygen supply, inflammation, and protein deposits," says Prof. Ashari, who led the new study. "Our research shows that oxygen treatment in a pressure chamber improves simultaneously, and significantly, several processes affected by the disease - thus resulting in behavioral improvement. The research also contributes to a mechanistic understanding of the essence of the unique treatment. Above all, since pressure chamber treatment is already used today as an accepted treatment in the clinic for a number of medical conditions, including neurological disorders, pressure chamber treatment has immediate potential in the clinic."

According to Prof. Ashari, many studies have shown that Alzheimer's patients have low blood flow to the brain, thus pointing to the involvement of hypoxia (low oxygen conditions) in the disease. Oxygen therapy in a pressure chamber includes breathing air containing 100% oxygen under pressure conditions that are greater than 1 atmosphere, and is used in the clinic to treat a variety of diseases and medical conditions, in order to increase the supply of oxygen to damaged tissues and accelerate healing procedures, including an increase in the amount of stem cells. It has recently been shown that pressure chamber therapy can be effective in patients who have had a stroke or head injuries, even years after the event.

Improvement in cognitive abilities

In their new study, the researchers from Tel Aviv University found that pressure chamber treatment resulted in a significant improvement in the condition of Alzheimer's disease model mice. The researchers found that the treatment significantly improved the condition of hypoxia in the brains of the sick mice (5.6 times) and significantly reduced (65%) the appearance of the pathological markers that characterize Alzheimer's, such as amyloid deposits, and a decrease of approximately 70% in phosphorylated tau protein. Also, the treatment lowered the level of the factors that cause inflammation and increased the anti-inflammatory factors, thus resulting in a decrease in inflammation in the nervous system. These changes led to a significant improvement in the cognitive abilities of the mice.

"Further studies are needed to clarify the different ways in which pressure chamber treatment affects the disease, as well as to evaluate its positive effects on different Alzheimer's populations," explain Ronit Shapira and Prof. Ashari, "but we propose that oxygen therapy constitutes a new platform for the treatment of Alzheimer's, a platform with Clinically safe positive potential".

"The research work demonstrates directly, for the first time, on brain tissue, the various mechanisms by which pressure chamber treatment can lead to improved brain functions," says Prof. Efrati. "In the context of humans, it must be assumed that the treatment should be given in the early stages of cognitive decline, before there is a significant loss of brain tissue, and here there is a significant challenge in early detection of the disease."

Prof. Uri Ashari pointed out that based on the findings of the experiment on model mice, therapeutic protocols are being formulated these days, which will form the basis for studies with patients that will begin in the near future.

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One response

  1. I have difficulty speaking
    I am going through a pressure chamber, I was successful in the treatment, it takes 60 sessions
    I do gym 3 times a week
    I am 71 years old, it happened 4 years ago
    I am a designer with a master's degree. I taught at the Institute of Technology
    Now I speak out loud

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