Oxygen could reverse stroke damage

New therapy could revolutionize stroke recovery

The only thing worse than suffering a stroke is recovering from one. It's a long and painful process, and sometimes even years of intensive rehab and therapy can't undo all the damage.

There's not a drug in the world that can speed the process, even if stroke victims are given plenty of them anyway.

But there's one thing that CAN help -- something that's all around you right now: oxygen.

In a series of revolutionary experiments, oxygen was so effective at reversing stroke damage that it even restored life to parts of the brain long given up for dead.

The only problem with oxygen-as-therapy is that you can't just take a few deep breaths and start to heal -- because the damage from the stroke means your brain isn't getting enough oxygen the old-fashioned way in the first place.

So in the new experiments, the oxygen was delivered in pressurized chambers, 90 minutes a day, five days a week, for two months. It increased blood oxygen levels by 10 times, allowing it to reach and restore the brain.

It led to real improvements in both neurological function and the all-important quality of life, in both patients who started the treatments immediately as well as patients in a control group that had to delay therapy as part of the study.

The only risks included some ear pain due to the pressurization and, for patients with history of seizures, mild convulsions -- something to consider, sure, but I'd say those risks are pretty minor compared to the benefit of getting your life back.

Of course, the researchers say more study is needed. They always say that -- but if you or a loved one is recovering from a stroke, you want help NOW. Speak to a naturopathic physician about hyperbaric oxygen therapy.