Multiple Sclerosis and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
HBOT is the only treatment known to favorably alter the course of Multiple Sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a grave, unpredictable central nervous system disorder that disrupts communication between the brain and the body and within the brain itself. The disease begins when there is damage to myelin, the fatty white substance that shields nerve cells.Sclerosis comes from the Greek word for hard, skleros. In multiple sclerosis, hard plaque develops within or along multiple nerve fibers, hence the name for the disease. Researchers believe MS to be an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. In the case of MS, this attack concentrates on the myelin sheath that surrounds the brain, spine and optic nerves.
Multiple sclerosis is neither infectious, nor fatal. But because the disease impacts the ability of the nervous system to relay messages, symptoms can be disabling. MS victims often have difficulty walking. They also experience vision problems and pain. In addition, they may get tiny raised bright red or purple skin bumps known as petechiae, that form when blood capillaries under the skin begin to leak.
Over the last several decades, researchers worldwide have convincingly established that MS can be successfully treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In fact, in Europe, HBOT isn’t just the first course of treatment, but insurers completely cover the therapy. For over 30 years, one British non-profit organization has provided over a million and a half HBOT treatments to those suffering from MS!
In the U.S., the FDA has cleared hyperbaric oxygen therapy for use in 14 specific health conditions. Unfortunately, MS is not among these. But, clearly, if doctors all over the world are successfully treating MS with HBOT, the FDA should reconsider its stance, and we hope it soon will.
The effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen treatments depends on a number of factors:
- type of HBOT chamber used
- atmospheric pressure depth
- total number of treatments and their duration
- type of MS diagnosis
- how well the results are evaluated
- administration of follow-up or booster treatments.
Controlled studies that have followed MS patients over time definitively show that regular HBOT treatments help those patients to maintain their initial positive improvements.
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