Illustration for article titled The Role of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Reversing Brain Damage

Brain damage is a serious health affliction that is causing wide-spread concern amongst the medical community across the nation. Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussions and other related neurological conditions often undergo severe trauma that takes a heavy toll on their physical and emotional health.

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Any delay in providing adequate treatment can have debilitating repercussions on the patient such as paralysis, impaired cognitive functions that affect speech, memory and motor skills.

Medical experts are increasingly recommending the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to effectively counter the health complications arising due to brain damage. Several ongoing research programs are being conducted by renowned hyperbaric experts to unravel the positive benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy whilst treating patients with brain damage.

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A new study conducted by a group of scientists from Israel has reported that brain damage can be reversed through regular HBOT. A few details of this remarkable initiative have been listed herewith:

A Pioneering Study By Dr. Shai Efrati!

A recent study conducted by a research team headed by Dr. Shai Efrati at Tel Aviv University has indicated that it is possible to reverse the negative effects of brain damage by administering regular hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

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A group of post-stroke patients who were unable to engage in basic daily chores such as climbing stairs, bathing, cooking or reading participated in this research program conducted by Efrati and his colleague, Prof. Eshel Ben-Jacob. Thereon, the experts administered HBOT to these patients for two months.

On completing the two-month therapy, the team of scientists observed a significant improvement in the brain functions of these patients. A few patients displayed a reversal of paralysis as they regained sensation in their limbs and displayed increased neural activity.

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Some of the patients were known to have regained their ability to read and speak with better clarity. The HBOT program enabled the patients to regain their basic abilities and were able to cook, bathe and walk. The individuals were also able to have a healthy interaction with their caregivers.

Efrati’s strong belief that hyperbaric oxygen therapy could reverse the effects of brain damage seemed truly justified post the successful feedback from his test group.

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Thereafter, Efrati and his partner firmly advocate the efficacy and viability of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treating patients with traumatic brain injury.

How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Aid In Reversing Brain Damage?

Most victims of traumatic brain injury experience conditions such as ischemia or hypoxia. These medical complications are known to occur due to an inflammation in the brain caused by a lack of sufficient oxygen-rich blood supply to the injured area. As a result, the healthy brain tissues turn dormant or get permanently damaged, causing severe cognitive impairment.

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Oxygen has been used as a natural healer by physicians for centuries to treat various ailments. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy relies on the use of pure oxygen and was initially administered to naval deepsea divers in the early 1960s’ to provide relief for decompression sickness.

Over time, hyperbaric experts discovered that HBOT is an effective treatment for varied disorders such as gas embolism, traumatic brain injury, non-healing diabetic wounds, and many other ailments.

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However, the FDA has currently approved only 13 health conditions that can be treated using HBOT.

What Is The Process Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

During an HBOT session conducted at any hyperbaric facility, the patient with brain damage is placed in a pressurized compartment known as a hyperbaric chamber.

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Thereon, the staff administers 100% pure oxygen to the patient through a facial mask or tube at pressures that are 1.2 to 3 times greater than normal atmospheric pressure. The enhanced pressure instantly dissolves the oxygen into the body fluids of the patient and boosts the plasma to all the areas in the brain that are deprived of oxygen-rich blood supply.

This process is known to activate the dormant neurons in the patient’s brain and curb further tissue damage. The stimulation of neuroplasticity levels and improved blood circulation during HBOT also accelerates the regeneration of fresh brain tissues and provides additional relief to the patient by:

  • Reducing inflammation.
  • Increasing blood perfusion levels.
  • Promoting axonal regrowth.
  • Angiogenesis.
  • Strengthening the immune system.
  • Enhancing the proliferation of stem cells.
  • Lowering edema.

Where Can Patients Avail Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be undertaken by patients through three types of chambers, namely:

Monoplace Hyperbaric Chamber:

This type of chamber is best suited for a clinic or residence in case the patient requires long-term HBOT. A monoplace chamber accommodates one patient at a time and the entire process of HBOT is monitored by trained hyperbaric experts through the chamber’s glass panel.

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Multiplace Hyperbaric Chamber:

These hyperbaric chambers are typically installed in large medical facilities wherein multiple individuals can be treated simultaneously during a single HBOT session.

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Portable Hyperbaric Chamber:

A portable hyperbaric chamber is a favored option of patients desiring complete privacy whilst undergoing HBOT. These chambers are lightweight as they are constructed using canvas or urethane and can be transported to any location and installed with ease.

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Patients with brain damage can opt to invest in portable chambers if they are home-bound and are unable to travel to an HBOT facility.

Presently, the research findings of various medical experts and optimistic feedback from TBI patients across the nation have validated the role of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a viable treatment solution for reversing brain damage.

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