HBOT has been used in the management of microvascular damage caused by other diseases such as diabetes. It increased neuronal energy metabolism in the brain and reduces the areas of ischemia and Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF, which increases with HIV and contributes to the profound fatigue associated with the syndrome).
Dementia may result directly from HIV from an opportunistic infection such as lymphoma, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, or mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). Mental status changes can include impaired cognition, decreased reaction time, attention and concentration problems, memory loss, etc. Psychomotor performance is affected. Emotional difficulties such as depression and anxiety can occur. HBOT has been used in treating senile dementia.
HBOT is not used in the presence of seizure activity. Headaches may result from any or all of the above reasons—from infection and edema to TIAs due to micro circulation problems.