What is a Stroke?

A Stroke occurs when the blood supply is cut to a part of the Brain caused by a blood clot or bleeding in the brain and can be extremely serious if not treated in hospital as soon as possible.

Strokes can happen to anyone at any time.

3 Different types of Stroke


  • Ischaemic – Blood vessels are blocked by a clot or have become too restricted to allow blood to get through. The lack of oxygen to that part of the brain will result in the cells dying. This is common in over 80% of Strokes.
  • Haemorrhagic – Blood vessels burst, causing a bleed on the brain.
  • Subarachnoid Haemorrhage – localised bleeding usually due to a burst aneurysm, which is a weakness in the blood vessel wall.


Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)


Often referred to as a mini-stroke, caused by a temporary disruption to the blood supply to part of the brain. Individuals tend to make a quick recovery, although it does increase the risk of a stroke in the future.

Known Causes of a Stroke


High Blood Pressure is one of the biggest contributing factors, along with high cholesterol, diabetes, cigarette smoking and atrial fibrillation. Previous Strokes and TIA’s are in the high risk category.

What are the signs and symptoms?


  • FACE – has the face dropped to one side, can the person smile?
  • ARMS – can the person raise their arms?
  • SPEECH – Is there speech slurred or incoherent, can they understand you?
  • TIME – dial 999 immediately, it is essential to obtain medical assistance as soon as possible.


Treating a Stroke


In the vast majority of cases, treatment will be with medication designed to prevent and dissolve blood clots, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Surgery may be required to remove blood clots, treat brain swelling and prevent further bleeding in the brain.

Recovering from a Stroke


People often experience long term problems caused by the injury to the brain and rehabilitation could be a long process, before they recover their independence. In some cases, they may never recover fully and will require ongoing support.

Preventing a Stroke


Reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels by:

  1. Eating well
  2. Physical exercise
  3. Moderate Alcohol intake
  4. Quit Smoking

These measures are particularly important if you have experienced a Stroke or TIA previously.

Stroke and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)


The principles behind HBOT, is to increase the Oxygen absorption in the body, by oxygenating plasma and tissues.

The benefits of having oxygenated plasma, is that it is capable of accessing restricted areas of the brain, which red bloods cells cannot access. This in turn delivers oxygen to those areas which otherwise would be starved of oxygen.

HBOT is commonly used by a number of medical facilities in the USA, which specialise in the treatment and prevention of Strokes.

Preconditioning the brain with Hyperbaric oxygen Therapy, especially for those in the high risk category, has shown some very good results in the prevention of Strokes.

HBOT helps to reduce high blood sugar levels, one of the main risk factors for diabetes and causes of Strokes. A recent study of 52 diabetic patients who had experienced a stroke within 30 days. All received a course of HBOT treatments and there was significant improvements in their blood sugar levels.

Long term Stroke patients were also seen to improve following a HBOT protocol of 40 dives.

Case study 1.

  • 60 year old male (14 month old stroke) – severe non-fluent aphasia/dyslexia/dysgraphia/right upper limb spastic paralysis/right lower limb paresis/post stroke depression
  • Results – Aphasia and speech improvement/right lower limb paresis improved with better gait and stance/right upper limb decrease in spasticity. Overall mood improved with increased positivity and social life engagement.

Case Study 2.

  • 68 yr old male (5 yr old stroke) – dysarthia/unsteady wide gait/dysphagia
  • Results – marked improvement in language fluency, ataxia and dysphagia showed signs of improvement.

Case Study 3.

  • 48 yr old male (15 year old stroke) – Recurrent Seizures/dysarthia/upper left limb paralysis/lower left limb paresis/lack of coordination in right limbs.
  • Results – Speech fluency improved/lower left limb paresis improved along with walking autonomy. Right limb coordination improved. No sign of improvement with left upper limb.

Case Study 4.

  • 34 yr old male (17 month old stroke) – non fluent aphasia/complete spastic hemiplegia of right upper limb with spastic hypertonia/partial paresis of right inferior limb/right hemilateral hypoaesthesia.
  • Results – Good improvement in speech/walking, no marked improved with upper limb paralysis.

In summary, recent studies have identified that longer consistent HBOT treatments have shown improvements can be made to long term stroke sufferers and help to prevent strokes for those in the high risk categories.

For more information book a consultation to see how Oxygen Wellbeing can assist you.