BATON ROUGE, La. (KXNET) — There’s new, very real, hope for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
A study published this year by Dr. Paul Harch, Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU, and Bismarck Doctor Edward Fogarty, shows improved brain function in a woman who suffered from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
The PET scans show dramatic improvement in her brain function.
Tonight we’re putting your health first.
This treatment is not lightyears away.
It’s here, it’s now and it’s available.
“That’s absolutely the most scientific presentation of a recovery of Alzheimer’s that there can be,” says Dr. Edward Fogarty, vice president of the International Hyperbaric Foundation, referring to the study.
Dr. Fogarty has long been a proponent for hyperbaric treatment. It’s not a new concept. Hyperbaric chambers have been proven to restore brain function in drowning victims, carbon monoxide patients, concussions patients. They are even being used in pain management. And the concept is simple. Hyperbaric chambers essentially force more oxygen into the body.
“It’s like a supercharger for your cells, same physics as ramming air in a combustion engine, getting a more efficient burn of those engines and their fuel system,” Fogarty said.
Bottom line, it’s good for the brain. So the thought was why not try it on dementia and Alzheimer’s patients?
“A miraculous change!” said Ruthie Kostka, whose husband suffers from dementia.
Ruthie and her husband, Bob Kostka, formerly of Fargo, moved to Colorado in 2003.
She said Bob’s dementia had progressed to the point it was hard for him to carry on a conversation.
“Everything depends on communication — well, we didn’t have it for a year and a half, and the last nine months almost nothing at all,” said Ruthie.
Ruthie checked into hyperbaric treatment, debated the cost and decided it was a small price to pay.
Desperate, she bought a hyperbaric chamber and put it right in her home.
“We didn’t know what to expect: Would it take a year? Would it ever work?” said Ruthie.
“But, three days! This is the good part. He was in three times in a row. The following morning we did our coffee deal, visiting, and I’m thinking, ‘My gosh, I think we’re having a conversation.’ Bob said that machine is working and I knew it was.”
Ruthie said there was a dramatic improvement.
“Back walking and jogging, shoveling snow,” said Bob.
He said it’s changed his life and hers, his kids and his grandkids.
“Grandpa’s Grandpa again. He’s laughing and joking,” said Ruthie.
Bob wasn’t part of any fancy, published study.
There are no early PET scans of Bob’s brain to show improved brain function.
But, Doctor Fogarty said, sometimes, the proof is in the “friends and family.”
“It’s Ruthie, she’s our PET scan,” said Dr. Fogarty.
“It’s been real good,” said Bob.
“Oh it’s like a miracle,” said Ruthie.
Some experts said they still need to see more studies.
A spokesman for The Mayo Clinic, which lists Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment, or HBOT, as a treatment for other diseases but not for Alzheimer’s, notes a single case report is, “not deemed sufficient grounds to recommend a therapy by our experts,” and that a larger series of studies would be needed.
Here is a link to Dr. Fogarty and Dr. Harch’s published study on Alzheimer’s treatment:
You can also leave a message for Dr. Ted Fogarty at Core Health Strategies 701-751-4464.
We reached out to the Alzheimer’s Association regarding the newly published study.
They sent us this statement: “This is a very exciting time in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research. The Alzheimer’s Association is confident that better treatments, earlier detection and prevention strategies will be available in the foreseeable future. The speed with which those achievements occur is directly related to the commitment to Alzheimer’s and dementia research.”
According to the association, in 2018, an estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages were living with Alzheimer’s dementia.
Click here for more from the KXNET team.