Updates on Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment for Brain Health by Dr. Joseph Maroon

June 2023 During the past month, neurosurgeon and concussion expert, Dr. Joseph Maroon was the keynote speaker for the 14th Annual Hyperbaric Oxygen Association and Functional Medicine Conference of the International Hyperbarics Association. Dr. Maroon’s presentation was “Hyperbaric Oxygen – A Renaissance? – Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Aging and Cognition”. He also spoke on “Sports Performance and Recovery – From Pediatrics to the Professional.”

See background on the health benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy from  Dr. Maroon’s article from 2022- entitled – The effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on cognition, performance, proteomics, and telomere length—The difference between zero and one: A case report

Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy is one idea that has been
FDA approved and is efficacious in the treatment of 13 different
medical conditions including decompression sickness, nonhealing
wounds, severe anemia, carbon monoxide poisoning,
among others (2). It also has been used off label for closed head
injuries, post-stroke, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)
and post-concussion syndrome (PCS) (3–7). Numerous HBO2
therapy mechanisms have been shown in both preclinical
and clinical models including anti-inflammatory effects, stem
cells recruitment, angiogenesis, neurogenesis, increased cerebral
blood flow, mitochondrial function restoration, and cellular
metabolism. By supplying repeated hyperoxic exposures, the
hyperoxic-hypoxic paradox is utilized, increasing HIF-1a levels
along with tissues hyperoxygenation (8–10). Recently, HBO2
therapy was shown to induce both cognitive and physical
performance enhancements in healthy aging adults (11, 12).
For 8 years, I have used HBO2 therapy to treat patients with
PCS when all other treatment modalities had failed.

Established in 2004, The International Hyperbarics Association was founded with the goal of increasing the awareness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to both the medical community and consumers alike. Dr. Maroon is a clinical professor and the Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is a consultant in neurosurgery to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Medical Director of the WWE. He is the author of six books and over 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is a member of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee.