Football legend Joe Namath, who suffered numerous concussions during his career, says that treatment in a hyperbaric chamber has helped heal his brain.
"People ask me, 'Joe, have you ever had concussions?'" Namath told CBS New York. "Well, there was a time I jokingly said, 'I don’t know if I’ve ever had concussions, but I had a heck of a lot of smelling salts.'"
The football Hall of Fame great began to monitor his own mental state after seeing the physical and mental condition of his teammates deteriorate.
"After seeing some of my teammates — a couple of them literally deteriorate and pass on — I began to analyze and monitor myself, so to speak," Namath said.
He was the first patient to enter an experimental program to see if hyperbaric oxygen therapy, where the patient breathes pure oxygen, could help improve blood flow to areas of the brain injured by those long-ago concussions. During treatment, the lungs can absorb as much as three times more oxygen than normal. Blood carries the extra oxygen throughout the body, stimulating the body to release substances which promote healing.
After 120 treatments, scans of Namath's brain showed increased blood flow.
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