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What are the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for Parkinson’s disease?

Other Medical Conditions and HBOT | Published: October 18th 2023, 10:45AM

Learn about Parkinson’s disease and how HBOT can help those affected

Each year, approximately 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed, contributing to the estimated one to 1.5 million Americans currently living with the disease. [1] 

Many Americans today know someone or have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It’s imperative to understand how this disease manifests and what options are beneficial for those living with it. Continue reading to learn more and discover the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for Parkinson’s.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s affects a specific part of the brain in the central nervous system called the substantia nigra, which controls movement. Intensive studies have found that an 80% (or greater) loss of dopamine-producing cells within the substantia nigra causes the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. [1]

It’s important to know that Parkinson’s doesn’t exclusively affect people above the age of 55. People 30 years and above can be diagnosed with this disease. The well-known Back to the Future actor, Michael J. Fox, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 29.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?

  • Tremor or the involuntary and rhythmic movements of the hands, arms, legs, and jaw.
  • Muscle rigidity or stiffness of the limbs – most common in the arms, shoulders, or neck.
  • Gradual loss of spontaneous movement often leads to decreased mental skill or reaction time, voice changes, decreased facial expression, etc.
  • Gradual loss of automatic movement which may lead to decreased blinking, decreased frequency of swallowing, and drooling.
  • A stooped, flexed posture with bending at the elbows, knees, and hips.
  • Unsteady walk or balance.
  • Depression or dementia. [1]

How hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help Parkinson’s

Although symptoms can vary depending on the person, studies have suggested that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can mitigate symptoms for those affected. 

According to Julian Whitaker, MD, of Whitaker Wellness’ primary approach to treating Parkinson’s, “HBOT floods the brain with oxygen, slowing neuronal degeneration, mobilizes rejuvenating stem cells, and enhances angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels that nurture damaged areas).” [2]

One thing is certain: hyperbaric oxygen will not worsen Parkinson’s. HBOT provides anti‐inflammatory benefits for many conditions. For example, a patient with advanced Parkinson’s who is confined to a wheelchair may be able to get up and walk across the room after a series of HBOT treatments. In fact, in an Italian study, 55 of 63 patients showed significant improvement after HBOT. [2]

In a different study, Eighteen months after a 72-year-old man was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he was treated with hyperbaric oxygen. He was treated daily five times weekly for five weeks (25 treatments). Post-treatment, He could communicate at a quicker rate, and there were small increments of improvement with his dominant hand. The total improvement after HBOT was more than 10%, while the improvement in the non‐dominant hand was nearly 32%. There were no complications or adverse side effects, such as myopia, through thorough observation. Overall, the long‐term exposure to HBO was tolerated well by this patient. [3]

Through hundreds of studies and ongoing research, It’s safe to say that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can beneficially contribute to relieving multiple symptoms for those affected by Parkinson’s. It’s important to remember that there are options to mitigate symptoms, and despite how complex this disease is, there is hope in knowing that more and more treatment options are available.

We’re here to support you.

At Hyperbaric Healing Treatment Center, we offer a caring and comfortable environment in which to heal our patients with all types of conditions, from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s dementia to diabetes and cancer

Our top priority is ensuring comfort and care throughout your healing journey at our spa-like medical centers, conveniently located in southwest Orlando and New Smyrna Beach. Our trained, caring team of hyperbaric specialists is ready to answer any questions.

We welcome you to contact us today.


1: American Association of Neurological Surgeons | Parkinson’s Disease

2: Parkinson’s Resource Organization | Parkinson’s and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

3: Sara’s Garden | Parkinson’s and HBOT

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