Oxygen is essential to every one of the tissues in the body and any tissue injury requires oxygen for healing. Recent research at the University of Dundee has shown that, in the inflammation that is typical of MS, the transport of oxygen is severely limited by tissue swelling.
The process by which damage to the nervous system is caused in MS clearly cannot be prevented by oxygen therapy. However, as the body normally heals itself using oxygen from the air, additional oxygen can extend the body’s ability to heal and can limit some of the damage which the disease can cause.
Breathing oxygen under pressure causes the dilated and leaky blood vessels in MS to constrict back to normal size and reduces the swelling. At the same time, more oxygen is delivered to the bloodstream so increasing the amount available to help undertake repair.