A stroke usually happens when brain cells die as a result of an interruption in blood flow and subsequent loss of oxygen supply to a specific part of the brain. During a stroke the central core of affected brain tissue receives only a trickle of blood flow causing the death of neurons due to lack of oxygen.
While the central area is suffering from acute lack of oxygen, the surrounding rim of tissue has blood flow and thus oxygen but still not the normal required amount. Part of this rim of poorly oxygenated brain tissue has been found to remain alive for up to twenty two years after a brain injury.
Swelling of the brain occurs immediately after a stroke compressing the blood vessels and limiting the amount of blood flowing to the affected area (ischemic penumbra).
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy allows new blood vessels to extend deep into the ischemic penumbra until the very center of the core is reached. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy helps to repair damaged blood vessels that supply more blood and oxygen to the injured tissue. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy also causes new blood vessel formation in the damaged tissue.
Approximately 90% of patients show improvement during the course of 40 hyperbaric treatments and physical therapy and most will continue to see improvements for two years after completing therapy