Mild Hyperbaric Therapy As An Immune Modulator

Gunnar Heuser, M.D., Ph.D., Olga Aguilera, M.D., Sylvia Heurser, M.A., Shayna Kasbee, B.A., and Tanya Peach, B.S.

Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment (mHBO) in a portable chamber, at 1.3 ATA and 24% oxygen, administered daily for ten consecutive sessions (1 hour each) improves brain function as measured by SPECT brain scan and a test for attention and reaction time.

Patients often report a sense of well-being and youthfulness after mHBO therapy.

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We wondered whether immune function in positively affected by mHBO. We chose apoptosis (a function of programmed cell death) and natural killer cell activity (a function of immune surveillance) as parameters in 9 patients.

Our preliminary date, illustrated in graph form, show that 10 mHBO sessions can positively affect immune function: natural killer cell function increases apoptosis values decrease. More sessions may be needed to affect positive results in an even higher percentage of patients.

We conclude that mHBO can improve immune function. Since apoptosis numbers increase with age the reversal of that process may have significance with regard to aging.