January 1978

The Effects of Hyperbaric and Normobaric Oxygen on Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly

Author Affiliations

From the National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Md (Dr Raskin and Mr Crook), and the New York University Medical Center (Drs Gershon, Sathananthan, and Ferris).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(1):50-56. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770250052005

• Eighty-two elderly subjects with significant cognitive impairment were randomly assigned to treatment with either hyperbaric oxygen, hyperbaric air, normobaric oxygen, or normobaric air. Treatment consisted of two 90-minute sessions a day for 15 consecutive days. Subjects were evaluated on measures of memory and intellectual capacity, as well as on psychiatric symptom rating scales. Results immediately after treatment and at one, two, three, and eight weeks following treatment did not show enhanced cognitive functioning or significantly greater symptom reduction in experimental subjects who received either normobaric or hyperbaric oxygen as compared to controls who received hyperbaric or normobaric air. There was also no evidence of differential treatment effects as a function of initial severity of illness, sex, response to a CO2 loading test, or presumed evidence of cerebrovascular disease.