Researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered high-pressure (hyperbaric) oxygen therapy to relieve the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in mice.
Based on the experiments, Prof. Uri Ashery of the Sagol School of Life Sciences at TAU said that such treatment for this common type of dementia would be "revolutionary".
The study was recently published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. Currently, it is estimated that there are 47.5 million people around the world who suffer from Alzheimer's disease; the number is expected to rise to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.
"The use of hyperbaric oxygen chambers has proven in the past to be extremely effective in treating wounds that are slow to heal," said Ashery. who led the research team. "We have now shown for the first time that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can actually improve the pathology of Alzheimer's disease and correct the behavioral deficits associated with the disease." This research is extremely exciting as it explores a new therapy that promises to be a treatment. for Alzheimer's. "
The research was conducted by the TAU doctoral student Ronit Shapira together with Prof. Beka Solomon; Prof. Dan Frenkel; and Prof
Shai Efrati from TAU Sackler School of Medicine, Sagol School and Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh).
In hyperbaric oxygen chambers, the air pressure increases twice that of normal air. Under these conditions, the oxygen solubility in the blood increases and is transported by the blood vessels throughout the body. The added oxygen stimulates the release of growth factors and stem cells, which in turn promote healing.
TAU scientists used a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease and built a custom-made hyperbaric oxygen chamber suitable for small animals. Then, over the course of 14 days, the team administered hyperbaric oxygen treatment to the mice for one hour per day. After 14 days, the mice underwent a series of behavioral tests and tissue biochemical tests to understand how hyperbaric oxygen therapy affects the pathological features associated with Alzheimer's disease.
The treatment reduced behavioral deficiencies compared to non-transgenic control mice, reduced plaque pathology by 40% and reduced neuroinflammation by approximately 40%.
In what the authors called a "brand study," the beneficial physiological effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy were demonstrated directly in brain tissue affected by Alzheimer's, Efrati added. "We assume that the main challenge in human use will be to start treatment in early stages before a significant amount of brain tissue is lost."
"There are serious clinical implications for this investigation," said Shapira. "Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a safe and well tolerated therapy used in clinics around the world for a variety of medical conditions, including neurological disorders, although more research is needed to elucidate the underlying beneficial mechanisms of the therapy and evaluate its beneficial effects. in diverse populations of Alzheimer's patients, it has great potential for the treatment of Alzheimer's. "
Currently, researchers are testing the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen treatment in an additional Alzheimer's mouse model to investigate the mechanisms underlying its impact on the disease.