Retain the memory of the elderly — science newsMarch 18, 1972
Despite the long-standing yearning for the Fountain of Youth, there is a marked lack of research to preserve its vitality in later years. However … [researchers] have found that they can reverse transient memory loss, or senility, in older patients by giving them regular oxygen treatments in a hyperbaric chamber.
Studies still only hint that exposing patients to 100 percent oxygen at high pressures could give a boost to cognitive abilities (SN: 10/12/85, pg. 236). For example, people with persistent symptoms after a minor head injury who underwent hyperbaric oxygen treatment outperformed untreated individuals on memory tests at least two months after treatments, researchers reported in 2020. Exposure to high amounts of oxygen has also been shown to improve short-term memory in people who have had strokes and those with Alzheimer disease. The treatments appear to work by dampening inflammation in the brain. Whether the method has a lasting effect on memory is not yet known.