Stroke, or brain attack, is a disruption of blood flow to the brain. Brain cells and tissue deprived of oxygen and nutrients will begin to die within minutes. Early treatment can minimize damage and potential long-term complications. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US and a leading cause of disability. Death rates have declined in the last 20 or 30 years, thanks to raised awareness of major risk factors—high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol—and advancements in stroke treatment.

Causes of Stroke

There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. In ischemic stroke, accounting for about 85 percent of all cases, a blood clot obstructs a vessel that supplies the brain. In hemorrhagic stroke, accounting for about 15 percent of cases, a broken blood vessel disrupts the flow to the brain. Whatever the cause, symptoms of stroke include sudden dizziness, blurred or double vision, severe headache, vomiting, altered consciousness, and numbness, weakness, or paralysis on one side of the face or body.

Treatment of Stroke with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an active area of stroke research. Some physicians prescribe hyperbaric oxygen as an adjunct to approved stroke therapies. By increasing the circulation of oxygenated blood in the brain, HBOT may help reduce the extent of brain damage and speed recovery and rehabilitation. HBOT has been approved for patients with intracranial abscess and acute traumatic ischemias based on similar claims.

HyperbaricLink Evidence Index for Stroke

HyperbaricLink Evidence Index
228 citations
5 appraisals
4 trials

The HyperbaricLink Evidence Index is our at-a-glance summary of the clinical evidence on HBOT for the treatment of specific diseases and conditions. Scoring is based solely on our reading and interpretation of the medical literature.

  • Disproved - Strong evidence against using HBOT.
  • None - Unfavorable results or no published evidence.
  • Scant - Early or mixed results with lingering questions.
  • Promising - Repeatedly favorable results urging further study.
  • Compelling - Strong body of evidence meriting approval.
  • Approved - HBOT indicated and widely reimbursed.

Follow the links to our primary sources to read the papers and analyses that have shaped our views. lists most all scientific papers published in reputable medical journals. critically appraises key studies in the hyperbaric medical literature. lists human clinical trials currently enrolling, in progress, and recently completed.


More information on Stroke

NOT APPROVED indication for HBOT by UHMS
Google Scholar

HBOT news about Stroke

More news from O2.0 – the HyperbaricLink blog

Complete stroke news archive from O2.0 — the HyperbaricLink blog.

US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Stroke Information Page. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
What Is Stroke? National Stroke Association. Retrieved 02 May 2015.
Page Data
Updated: 02 May 2015 12:00 AM
Created: 05 Oct 2009 12:00 AM
By: About the authors »