Oxygen and Pressure Epigenetics: Understanding Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy After 355 Years as the Oldest Gene Therapy Known to Man

by Paul G. Harch, MD

Despite the “Decade of the Brain” from 1990-20001 and all the advances of modern medicine, treatment of the most common neurological diseases (traumatic brain injury, stroke, and dementia) has made minimal progress in the last 100 years. In 2017 Alzheimer’s Dementia alone accounts for 5.4 million cases in the U.S.

2 Total costs for dementia are estimated to be $259 million this year.

2 The numbers will burgeon in the decades ahead as the Baby Boomers’ demographic and the excesses of their earlier years pay a negative dividend.

Imagine for a moment a treatment that generically addresses/treats the underlying pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, stroke, dementia, and many other neurological and systemic diseases, a treatment that not only restores reserve capacity,

3 but stimulates repair and regrowth of tissue, a treatment that gives people back their lives.

Figures 1-4 feature the SPECT brain blood flow scans of the first Alzheimer’s patient treated with oxygen and pressure epigenetics. On a challenge from neurologists at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, a 58-year-old man was referred for treatment 5.5 years after the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Having failed multiple treatments and shown minimal symptomatic improvement on rivastigmine, the scans document the typical posterior watershed areas of damage in Alzheimer’s and the dramatic improvement in regional brain blood flow after one, 40, and 80 hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatments. Simultaneously, the patient’s symptoms, quality of life, and Folstein Mini-Mental Status Exam score improved (from 9 to 13); and formal cognitive memory testing by university neuropsychologists recorded the first improvement in their multi-year testing sequence. The case was reported to the US Congress in 2002, along with 14 other cases of chronic traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, stroke, alcoholism, carbon monoxide poisoning, shaken baby, and autism.


Since 2001 this author has treated nearly 1,000 cases of chronic neurological injury spread across 80 or more neurological diagnoses. This

Figure 1. Pre-HBOT, SPECT brain blood flow imaging transverse slices and four-view threedimensional surface reconstruction of 58-year-old male with Alzheimer’s disease. Color scheme for slices is white, yellow, orange, purple, blue, and black from highest to lowest blood flow. Color scheme for three-dimensional surface reconstructions is aesthetic. Three-dimensional views are top row, left to right: frontal and right lateral; bottom row, left to right: left lateral and top of head. Defects or holes in the surface represent significant relative reductions in blood flow. Note primary defects in parietal/occipital/temporal watershed regions.