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There’s newfound hope in the battle against Alzheimer’s and dementia. A groundbreaking study led by Dr. Paul Harch, Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU, and Dr. Edward Fogarty, a physician in North Dakota, has revealed impressive improvements in brain function for a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s. This study, published recently, marks significant progress in combating these debilitating conditions.

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The Science Behind Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Hyperbaric chambers are no longer just in the realm of science fiction; they’re a real source of hope today. These chambers have already demonstrated their effectiveness in restoring brain function in patients with various conditions, such as drowning, carbon monoxide poisoning, and concussions. Even in pain management, hyperbaric chambers have played a vital role. The basic idea is straightforward: these chambers provide the body with more oxygen.

Dr. Edward Fogarty, Vice President of the International Hyperbaric Foundation, likens this process to supercharging your cells, similar to pumping air into an engine for a more efficient burn. The outcome? A significant boost for the brain.

Ruthie and Bob’s Miraculous Transformation

Meet Ruthie and Bob Kostka, whose lives took an extraordinary turn. Bob, battling dementia, had reached a point where communication was a daily struggle. Ruthie, determined to explore every option, discovered hyperbaric treatment, although she had initial concerns about the cost. In a desperate bid to restore their quality of life, Ruthie took a leap of faith and purchased a hyperbaric chamber for their home.

The results were astounding. After three consecutive sessions, Bob showed signs of improvement, much to Ruthie’s joy. A remarkable transformation was underway, with Bob regaining his ability to walk, jog, and even shovel snow. He felt revitalized both mentally and physically, reinvigorating their relationship with their children and grandchildren.

Dr. Edward Fogarty, an unwavering advocate for hyperbaric treatment, emphasizes the remarkable nature of Ruthie and Bob’s journey. To him, Ruthie is living proof of the treatment’s effectiveness, like a tangible “PET scan.”


The Mayo Clinic, for instance, currently recognizes Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) as effective for various diseases but not yet for Alzheimer’s. They stress the need for larger-scale studies instead of relying solely on a single case report.

The Alzheimer’s Association, when approached about the recent study, expressed its excitement regarding the current state of Alzheimer’s and dementia research. They believe that better treatments, earlier detection, and prevention strategies are on the horizon. The pace of these advancements depends on continued research commitment.

In 2018, an estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages were living with Alzheimer’s dementia, highlighting the urgency of finding effective treatments. While there’s still much ground to cover, the breakthroughs in hyperbaric oxygen therapy offer hope to those affected by these challenging conditions.


KX News. (2019,  November 19). New Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients. Nexstar Media Inc. https://www.kxnet.com/news/local-news/new-hope-for-alzheimers-patients