Shai Efrati, MD
As Chair of Aviv’s Medical Advisory Board, Dr. Efrati contributes a wealth of experience to our work.
Dr. Efrati is Founder and Director of the world-leading Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center, where he also serves as Director of Research and Development and Head of Nephrology.
Dr. Efrati’s research focuses on novel aspects of hyperbaric medicine and brain rehabilitation. He is a professor at the Sackler School of Medicine and the Sagol School of Neuroscience in Tel Aviv University. Since 2008, he has served as Chairman of the Israeli Society for Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine.
Dr. Efrati initiated and headed a research team examining Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), and the effect on neuroplasticity and cognitive rehabilitation. The results of these preliminary trials indicated that HBOT indeed generates neuroplasticity and increases neurocognitive abilities in post-stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients. Moreover, these improvements were evident when treatment commenced long after the acute episode.
The initial positive findings have led Dr. Efrati to form a group of multidisciplinary researchers, probing the regenerative effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen in various brain injuries, including those resulting from Strokes, Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Alzheimer's, with a particular focus on age-related functional decline, is also being investigated.
Dr. Efrati's research results have also indicated both neuroplasticity and improvements in patients with Fibromyalgia with a history of childhood sexual abuse treated with HBOT.
Novel HBOT Protocol Can Improve Cognitive Function of Healthy Older Adults
Research published in the peer-reviewed journal Aging, July 2020.
For the first time, new study results have shown significant cognitive improvements in healthy older adults treated with HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy). The study, led by Dr. Shai Efrati and Dr. Amir Hadanny from the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, was based on a unique HBOT protocol developed at the Sagol Center during the past decade. The study indicated that cognitive functions, including attention, information processing speed, and executive function, were the significantly enhanced in healthy aging adults. Those abilities commonly decline with age. Also seen for the first time is the correlation between cognitive gain and improved cerebral blood flow in specific brain locations.