When it comes to stroke recovery, every breakthrough counts. A recent study has delved into the promising realm of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and its potential to transform the lives of chronic stroke patients. Let’s dive deeper into the details of this groundbreaking research.

The Gold Standard

This study took the gold standard route in clinical research: a randomized controlled trial. In this type of trial, participants are randomly assigned to different groups, in this case, the HBOT group and the sham group. This randomization helps minimize bias, making the findings more reliable.

The HBOT Experience

In the HBOT group, participants embarked on a journey of 20 HBOT sessions, spanning four weeks. Each session lasted for two hours, during which they breathed pure oxygen inside a pressurized chamber. The key here was the pressure level – a significant 2.4 atmospheres, about 2.5 times the normal atmospheric pressure.

The Sham Treatment

On the other side of the study, the sham group underwent a mock treatment. Like the HBOT group, they experienced the same pressurized environment at 2.4 atmospheres but with a twist – they breathed ordinary air instead of pure oxygen.

Neurological Function and Quality of Life

To gauge the effectiveness of HBOT, the researchers employed various tests to assess neurological function and quality of life. Two notable assessments included the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and the Modified Rankin Scale (MRS) for neurological function. Quality of life was evaluated using the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS).

The Triumph of HBOT

The results were nothing short of remarkable. The HBOT group showed significant improvements in both neurological function and quality of life compared to the sham group. The average NIHSS score in the HBOT group dropped from 8.5 at the start to 6.3 after the treatment. The average MRS score decreased from 2.5 to 1.8, and the average SIS score increased from 52.3 to 63.1.

A Safe and Effective Solution for Chronic Stroke Patients

The researchers’ conclusion speaks volumes: HBOT is a safe and effective treatment for chronic stroke patients. It’s a potential game-changer for individuals who have not responded to other treatments.

The results indicate that HBOT can lead to significant neurological improvements in post stroke patients even at chronic late stages.

Behind the Scenes of the Study

Here are some additional insights into the study:

  • It included 60 chronic stroke patients, all of whom were at least 6 months post-stroke.
  • The average age of the participants was 65 years, and the average time since their stroke was 2.5 years.
  • Ischemic stroke was the most common type (80%) among the participants.
  • Exclusions from the study were made for individuals with severe heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, severe lung disease, claustrophobia, or pregnancy.
  • Remarkably, the HBOT treatment was well-tolerated by the participants, with no reports of serious adverse events.


In summary, this study ushers in a new era of hope for chronic stroke patients. HBOT has demonstrated its potential to improve neurological function and quality of life, offering fresh possibilities for those who have been seeking effective treatments. The path to recovery continues to evolve, and HBOT is lighting the way.


Efrati, S. (2013, January 15). Hyperbaric Oxygen Induces Late Neuroplasticity in Post Stroke Patients – Randomized, Prospective Trial. PLOS ONE. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0053716