Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Slow or Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Have you missed an important appointment, more than once recently? Do you often misplace items, unable to recall where you left them? Do you frequently search for words that used to come quickly and naturally? These are signs of memory loss. They can be very disconcerting when you experience them firsthand or observe them in another person. If you are worried about symptoms of memory loss—or the development of Alzheimer’s disease in yourself, a friend, or a family member, you’ll be interested to learn of promising new research involving hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).


A study found hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) increased blood flow to the brains of participants experiencing early signs of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 23% and showed 16.5% improvement in cognitive performance and memory. Click To Tweet

For example, one new study revealed dramatic improvements using an HBOT protocol for elderly patients with cognitive decline. Increased cerebral blood flow from HBOT helped to alleviate two of the most recognized biological hallmarks in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study’s compelling findings and earlier research suggest that HBOT may provide a way to slow or possibly even reverse this most common form of dementia affecting more than 6 million Americans. Here’s what you need to know about HBOT and Alzheimer’s disease.  


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is characterized by changes in memory, cognition, and behavior. Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which is rare and accounts for less than 10% of cases, can occur as early as one’s 30s, 40s, 50s, and early 60s. However, for most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms begin to appear in their mid-60s, which is called late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

It is progressive. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with functional daily living. The cause is not entirely clear, but scientists believe it is probably a combination of age-related changes in the brain, along with genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

Here’s where it gets interesting—and how lifestyle factors and interventions can make a difference. Changes begin to happen in the brain long before the initial signs of memory loss appear.


Consider that our brains have roughly 100 billion neurons. Each neuron may be connected to up to 10,000 other neurons, transmitting signals to each other via as many as 1,000 trillion synapses! Healthy neuronal function is essential for thinking, learning, and memory, as well as for sensing the world through vision, hearing, scent, and taste.

Of course, a certain amount of brain nerve cells get damaged or destroyed and replaced every day. However, if large numbers of these nerve cells get damaged or die, the brain does not function as well. We may experience memory glitches, personality changes, difficulties carrying out daily activities, and other signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Research points to several biological factors responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Among them is the buildup of protein fragments called beta-amyloid in the spaces between nerve cells, as well as twisted fibers of another protein called tau within the nerve cells. Research also indicates vascular dementia as a factor. It’s caused by a number of conditions that impede cerebral blood (i.e., heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as diabetes and obesity).


Slowing and preventing Alzheimer’s by increasing cerebral blood flow is an exciting new area of research. Indeed, a 2021 study noted that reductions in cerebral blood flow of 10-20% were a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease that showed early in the brain disorder’s progression—and suggested increasing blood flow as a method of treatment.

Here at Amen Clinics, research has also shown that brain SPECT imaging can identify the abnormally low blood flow pattern of Alzheimer’s disease up to 9 years before Alzheimer’s symptoms begin to present. This is very hopeful in terms of prevention.


While the term hyperbaric oxygen therapy may sound a little daunting, in reality, it is a non-invasive, safe, and easy treatment. An individual lies flat in a comfortable, pressurized chamber and breathes 100% pure oxygen. This allows the lungs to take in up to 3 times more oxygen than with normal breathing, quickly increasing blood flow and delivering more oxygen to the body’s tissues.

HBOT has most commonly been used for decompression sickness and to counter carbon monoxide poisoning. It can be very beneficial in speeding wound healing too, as the body requires greater amounts of oxygen to heal damaged tissue. It has also been used effectively in instances of traumatic brain injury, according to research.

In terms of slowing or preventing Alzheimer’s disease, it’s HBOT’s effect on cerebral blood flow bringing greater oxygen to the brain that makes the difference. Here at Amen Clinics, before-and-after brain SPECT imaging studies of people who have undergone HBOT show dramatic improvement in cerebral blood flow.


In 2019, research was conducted on an Alzheimer’s patient specifically using HBOT. After weeks of undergoing 50-minute HBOT, dramatic improvements were experienced and reported by the patient—specifically, improvements in memory and concentration, sleep, conversation, appetite, ability to use the computer, motor skills, more good days than bad days, resolved anxiety and decreased disorientation and frustration.

Additionally, PET imaging showed a 6.5-38% global improvement in brain metabolism (resulting from blood flow delivering more oxygen and glucose to the brain tissue). The researchers suggested HBOT as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2020 study sought to examine the HBOT effects on patients with Alzheimer’s

and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). The patients were treated with 40 minutes of hyperbaric oxygen for 20 days. Results showed the treatment significantly improved the cognitive function of the patients compared to controls and improved oxygenation to brain tissue. The researchers concluded that HBOT may be a “promising alternative therapy for Alzheimer’s disease and aMCI.”

In a 2021 review analysis, researchers analyzed more than 391 clinical and experimental studies published over a 40-year period to examine the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying HBOT and its effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s disease. They concluded by advocating the use of HBOT for treating Alzheimer’s disease.

The most promising research on HBOT and Alzheimer’s (first mentioned above) was conducted at Tel Aviv University and published in the journal Aging late in 2021. Notably, the study sought to address not only the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease but also the core pathology and biology responsible for its development.

The first stage of the study, produced on an animal model, proved conclusively through the examination of brain tissues that a specific HBOT protocol boosts vascular function and the creation of new blood vessels, prevents the deposit of new amyloid plaques on the brain cells, and leads to the removal of existing amyloid plaque deposits.

In the second phase of the study, HBOT protocol effects were examined in elderly patients (above age 65) suffering from cognitive decline (with particular attention on memory loss)—early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Remarkably, the study found hyperbaric oxygen therapy increased blood flow to the brains of study participants by up to an astounding 23%, which helped to alleviate vascular dysfunction and amyloid burden. Additionally, it showed marked improvement in participants’ cognitive performance and memory by 16.5%.

This compelling body of research clearly suggests HBOT may be an effective treatment to slow or reverse the drivers of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s no surprise then that more research is currently underway.

For example, in 2022, a new clinical trial began to further research the role of vascular dysfunction and neuroinflammation in participants in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help to slow or reverse the disease progression.

Memory loss and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can’t wait. At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, mental telehealth, clinical evaluations, and traditional therapy for adults, teens, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. I sometimes have memory problems. I have a book by Dr. Amen, I will look at it again. Thank you.

    Comment by Gail Goodfellow — May 10, 2023 @ 4:48 AM

  2. I bet it would do wonders for vascular dementia.

    Comment by L A Rankin — May 10, 2023 @ 5:02 AM

  3. Are these findings with 2kpa + chambers or home suitable 1.3-1.4 kpa ?

    Comment by Daemon Dewing — May 10, 2023 @ 5:12 AM

  4. Where are you located near Los Angeles
    Can I do the. Oxygen chamber without brain scanning?
    Thank you. G c

    Comment by Geri cusenza — May 10, 2023 @ 6:18 AM

  5. I was told by a neurologist that HBOT can cause blood clots. My husband suffers from Dementia/Alzheimer’s- he also takes Eliquis for AFib.

    Comment by Sharron — May 10, 2023 @ 7:35 AM

  6. Hello Geri, thank you for reaching out. We have a location in Encino, CA: You can inquire about HBOT treatment without having a brain SPECT scan.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — May 10, 2023 @ 10:28 AM

  7. Do most insurances cover HBOT for Alzheimer’s Disease? I know insurance won’t pay for HBOT for Brain injury.

    Comment by Sandy Jagoda — May 10, 2023 @ 11:58 AM

  8. I know that Joe Nameth has undergone HBOT in FL for treatments related to CTE, and playing football with all those hits was bound to injure his brain. I have already checked into a place for HBOT in AZ and will be going. Thank you for sharing the research!

    Comment by Mrs. Ferris S.Whitfield — May 10, 2023 @ 2:27 PM

  9. I have been reading the book on Memory Rescue. I have an appointment tomorrow for oxygen therapy in Heath, Texas. I had a stroke a year ago and I am convinced that it would be helpful. Thank you for the information.

    Comment by Vivian — May 10, 2023 @ 2:55 PM

  10. I saw my doctor and I told him I've had amnesia for as long as I can remember. 🙂

    Comment by James S Howard — May 10, 2023 @ 8:47 PM

  11. What is the cost for hbot and do you do in your Chicago office?

    Comment by Susan — May 11, 2023 @ 6:30 AM

  12. In 2017 Amen's Clinic verified specialists' findings that my husband had Frontal Temporal Dementia, and wouldn't know my name in one year. I am an HBOT practitioner and use one in my practice. My husband uses it regularly and now, six years later he still knows everyone's name. He drives, shops, pays bills, works on cars etc. at 80 years old.

    Comment by Dr Catherine Strasburg, PhD — May 11, 2023 @ 12:20 PM

  13. Hello Susan, thank you for reaching out. For local pricing at Amen Clinics Chicago, please contact them: We offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) at all Amen Clinics locations.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — May 19, 2023 @ 10:44 AM

  14. Is there an alternative for people who are claustrophobic?

    Comment by Marsha — June 17, 2023 @ 8:38 PM

  15. My Mom is suffering from memory loss and can't drive anymore. She drinks and lives at 7,500 ft. She's 86 and I think Oxygen therapy would really help her. How can I convince her guardians that oxygen therapy is safe ? The NCIH article has a disclaimer so it's not valid for Them.
    I need more proof, please ? Time's a Wastin' ! Please advise ?

    Comment by Catherine Guard — November 5, 2023 @ 10:32 AM

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Contact Us