New Study Finds Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments Mobilize Stem Cells
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulation Physiology, (http://ajpheart.physiology.org) hyperbaric oxygen treatments increases by 800% the number of stem cells circulating in a patient’s body. Stem cells, also called progenitor cells, are important players in repairing the body after injury and in tissue regeneration. Stem cells exist in the bone marrow and are capable of changing their characteristics to become part of many different organs and tissues. When a body part is injured, stem cells are mobilized and provide the cells necessary for the healing process to occur. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) provides an important trigger or stimulus for this mobilization.It is for this reason that HBOT was utilized and likely responsible, at least in part, for the remarkable recovery Randal McCloy Jr., the only survivor of the recent of Sago Mine accident.
CHEST: Hyperbaric Oxygen Credited for Miner’s Recovery – CME Teaching Brief® – MedPage Today
“This is the safest way clinically to increase stem cell circulation, far safer than any of the pharmaceutical options,” said Stephen Thom, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, lead author of the study. “This study provides information on the fundamental mechanisms for hyperbaric oxygen and offers a new theoretical therapeutic option for mobilizing stem cells… We reproduced the observations from humans in animals in order to identify the mechanism for the hyperbaric oxygen effect.”
So, in addition to increasing blood supply and reducing the damaging effects of free radicals, this is yet another mechanism explaining the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a variety of brain disorders including head trauma, stroke, multiple sclerosis, hypoxic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy and vascular dementia.