Definition and Causes
Vascular dementia is a loss of memory and thinking capacity as a result of impaired blood flow to parts of the brain. It is
the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.
Vascular dementia may be caused a major stroke, by many smaller strokes, or by damage to tiny vessels deep within the
brain. Ischemic strokes, or cerebral infarctions, may cause permanent damage to the brain tissue deprived of blood. Symptoms
include confusion, short attention span, and difficulty with activities of daily living.
In mixed dementia, brain damage may result from vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease combined. People experience vascular
dementia in rather sudden steps, unlike the slow, steady progression seen in Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s desease is caused by a protein
buildup that slowly destroys brain cells and tissues.
Learn more about Alzheimer's disease »
People with a history of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol levels face increased risk of vascular
Hyperbaric Oxygen Approval Status
Treatment with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an active area of stroke research, and some centers use HBOT routinely. By increasing the
circulation of oxygenated blood in the brain, they hypothesize, HBOT may help reduce the extent of brain damage and speed recovery
and rehabilitation from vascular dementia and other cognitive impairments. But there is scant evidence in the medical literature
to support HBOT for vascular dementia, in particular.
Advancing by small trials, with mixed results, early researchers still keep gathering promising clinical evidence on hyperbaric
oxygen for acute ischemic stroke. Supplying oxygen-rich blood to the damaged brain makes good plain sense. HBOT has been approved
for patients with
acute traumatic ischemias,
based on similar rationale. Likely any evidence to support HBOT for vascular dementia will arise from this broader field of
HyperbaricLink recommends the following websites for anyone seeking authoritative information, patient advocacy, and community
support for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading, global voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's and dementia care and support,
and the largest private, nonprofit funder of dementia research. The association’s
provides an excellent resource for people living with dementia.
The US Congress created ADEAR to compile, archive, and disseminate information about Alzheimer's disease for health
professionals, people affected by Alzheimer’s, and the public. The center provides reliable information and support via
excellent web, telephone, and print communications.
The only national nonprofit healthcare organization focusing 100 percent of its resources and attention on stroke, the
National Stroke Association provides education and programs on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and support for everyone
affected by stroke.
Start with the following resources to explore current research activities and the peer-reviewed medical literature on hyperbaric oxygen therapy for vascular dementia.
Physicians and other health professionals will find an Alzheimer’s health literature search engine, the latest diagnostic
guidelines, and other important information on the ADEAR website.
ClinicalTrials.gov keeps the official list of human clinical trials currently enrolling, in progress, and recently completed.
One may reasonably question the size and legitimacy of any study not listed here.
Search ClinicalTrials.gov for current studies of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and vascular dementia
An independent, international, nongovernmental organization, the Cochrane Collaboration is a powerful force in evidence-based
medicine. One may consider a Cochrane Reviews article on any HBOT topic required hyperbaric reading.
Read the Cochrane Reviews article Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for acute ischaemic stroke
A specialized Google search engine, Google Scholar indexes scholarly articles, patents, and legal opinions and journals.
Google Scholar may generate excessive search results, but entries provide easy access to full-text journal articles.
Search Google Scholar for hyperbaric oxygen therapy and vascular dementia
HBOEvidence uses computerized tools to appraise the key randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the hyperbaric medical
literature. One may reasonably question the overall strength of HBOT evidence for any disease or condition not covered here.
Read the HBOEvidence appraisals for treatment of stroke with hyperbaric oxygen therapy
US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health
PubMed keeps the official list of scientific papers published in reputable peer-reviewed medical journals. One may reasonably question the importance and
legitimacy of any study not listed here.
Search PubMed.gov for journal articles relating to hyperbaric oxygen therapy and dementia
- Alzheimer's disease
- Biswanger’s disease
- Cognitive functioning
- Cognitive impairments
- Functional impairments
- Mixed dementia
- Multi-infarct dementia
- Post-stroke dementia
- Single-infarct dementia
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Vascular cognitive impairment