HBOT: Promising Treatment for COPD
Recent years have seen increasing recognition of the value of regenerative medicine, which is the use of stem cells to treat many different types of disease. Of particular interest has been the use of stem cells to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
COPD is a progressive disease that gradually makes it difficult for the sufferer to breathe. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause, but long-term exposure to other lung irritants may also contribute to the disease.
Lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Traditional treatment methods have been ineffective for the last 30 years.
I have used hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to treat patients with COPD. One patient I saw had previously visited a major medical center in California and was given only a few months to live. She was beginning to lose cognitive function due to oxygen deficiency.
When we started her on HBOT, her symptoms turned around, and she enjoyed five excellent years before dying of other problems — not COPD.
We now know that HBOT can significantly increase the availability of stem cells in a patient’s body by a factor of about 8. Therefore, the hyperbaric oxygen is doing exactly what is being advocated for treating COPD and other lung conditions with stem cells.
In my opinion, stem cell therapy would be even better for COPD with the addition of hyperbaric oxygen therapy being given at the same time.
According to the Lung Institute, 84 percent of patients with COPD have benefited from stem cell treatment, which has recently been recognized by the United States Congress with the passage of the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act on December 16, 2015. This law provides funding for the stem cell industry for the next five years.
In addition, the Catholic Church has signaled its appreciation of regenerative medicine by scheduling The Third Conference on the Progress of Regenerative Medicine and Its Cultural Impact to be held at the Vatican April 28-30.
With the increasing interest in stem cell treatment and recognition that hyperbaric oxygen promotes the availability of stem cells in the body, I believe that the use of stem cell therapy and HBOT will be expanded to even more chronic diseases than they have to date. For instance, we have seen benefits with suffering with ataxia telangiectasia, cerebral palsy, and other genetic diseases that have responded very well to hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Therefore, when we consider the possibility of adding stem cell therapy with regenerative medicine to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, there is a good chance that we will see spectacular improvements with the combination.
William S. Maxfield, M.D.
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