Using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Address TBI and Concussion
Head injuries are much more common than one might think. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an estimated 1.7 million Americans sustain a TBI each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there were over 64,000 TBI-related deaths in 2020, which equates to more than 175 brain injury-related deaths every day.
Those most affected include adolescents aged 15-19 and adults older than 65. Among seniors, falls are the most common cause of TBIs—a pervasive problem that can be mitigated with a few key strategies.
Yet, despite how pervasive TBIs are, many people don’t realize when they’re experiencing the “traumatic” incident. At one time, a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which many know simply as a concussion, was actually thought to be a benign event. With much research, experts now know that even small, repeated injuries to the brain can have significant effects. These injuries can contribute to adverse neuropsychological outcomes—both acutely and long-term.
For example, in the moment, a concussion might cause dizziness, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, and vomiting. But over time, that same injury or repeated injuries may contribute to ongoing symptoms, such as chronic headaches, trouble concentrating or thinking clearly, memory problems, poor sleep, depression, anxiety, and irritability. Some people may not even connect an injury that happened years ago with their current symptoms, which can make it difficult to properly diagnose a TBI or post-concussion syndrome.
Unfortunately, the incidence of TBI and concussion persists. Per the Brain Injury Association of America, cumulative evidence shows that an estimated 5.3 million men, women, and children are living with a permanent TBI-related disability in the U.S. today.
Yet, does it have to be “permanent”?
HBOT’s Role in Relieving TBI Symptoms
Dedicated research into brain healing reveals a therapy that produces positive results in cases of TBI and post-concussion syndrome. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has historically been accepted as an effective treatment for medical issues like wound healing, severe infections, and decompression sickness. For some time, HBOT had not been explored much beyond those applications.
However, research in the last two decades reveals that HBOT, in combination with certain cognitive, nutritional, and physiological protocols, is able to repair areas of the brain that have been damaged due to TBI and concussion, as well as stroke, post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, and other neurological conditions.
What Results Can Individuals Expect?
To understand how HBOT works to address TBI and post-concussion damage, it’s important to know what changes occur in the brain during those injuries. Structural damage indicates a physical impact on the brain, such as bleeding. Metabolic damage is present when the brain’s cells are affected.
Traditional scans like CT and MRI may not be able to detect metabolic damage, especially if an injury occurred years ago. More advanced scans—like functional MRI and SPECT—are better able to identify areas of the brain that may be producing chronic post-concussion symptoms.
Applying HBOT and the unique protocols of the Aviv Medical Program yields multiple changes in the brain:
- New blood vessel formation (angiogenesis)
- New and stronger neural connections
- Stem cell production
These neural, vascular, and cellular changes contribute to cognitive improvements in memory, executive function, attention, processing speed, and spatial memory. Individuals with brain-based motor skill challenges also benefit from this comprehensive therapy.
Elements of the Aviv Medical Program also include cognitive therapy, strength and physical training, and nutritional coaching. The physiological and nutritional aspects of Aviv Clinics’ customized protocol elicit enhancements such as greater aerobic fitness, higher energy levels, improved sleep, and reduced pain. Overall, individuals report a significant improvement in their quality of life after completing the program
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, fallen off a horse, or had “your bell rung” playing sports, you may have experienced a brain injury that could still be impacting your health. The Aviv Medical Program can help ease your symptoms.
If you or a loved one suspects a TBI or concussion has left lingering symptoms, contact us to learn more about how investing 90 days into treatment could change the rest of your life.
Long COVID Explained: The Symptoms and Why They Stick Around
Millions of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 continue to experience ongoing health issues, clinically known as long COVID. If you’re one of these people, the Aviv team is here with research-backed information on what this means and what you can do.
While there is still uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 complications and their long-term side effects, there have been extensive studies conducted that offer insight into:
- Post COVID symptoms
- How long COVID can impact your body and lifestyle
- Treatment methods that can help mitigate long-haul COVID effects
Below, we provide all the details you need to attain a holistic understanding of how long COVID impacts your body and promising treatment plans that can help you get back to optimal health. As you’re reading through this, keep in mind:
- Each person has a unique experience with COVID-19.
- Therefore, speaking with a doctor is an essential first step.
- Several alternative terms are used for long COVID, such as post-COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID, and chronic COVID.
How the CDC and WHO Define Long COVID
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines long COVID as a condition where individuals experience long-term effects of COVID-19.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) defines long COVID as persistent symptoms more than 3 months after the acute infection, that continue, not relapse, that have been reoccurring and there is no other explanation for those symptoms.
- Anyone who has been infected with COVID-19 can develop long COVID. Approximately 30% of COVID-19 patients report having symptoms of long-haul COVID.
The numbers of people affected long term are high
The WHO had a definition of long COVID over two years ago. That means, from nearly the beginning, these health organizations studying the virus were seeing long-term side effects and symptoms of impairment from having COVID-19.
You aren’t alone if you don’t feel like yourself after having COVID-19.
- Approximately 30% of COVID-19 patients report having symptoms of long-haul COVID.
- 20-50% of patients with 1 or more features 3-6 months post COVID, receive a long COVID diagnosis.
- 11-20% of children have lingering symptoms at 14 weeks post COVID.
For a comprehensive understanding of what long-haul COVID is, let’s flesh out the differences between COVID and long COVID:
- Individuals experience COVID-19 symptoms for up to four weeks, starting from the onset of illness.
- Subacute is where COVID-19 symptoms are noticed up to 12 weeks, and the virus can still be found in the body.
- Individuals experience COVID-19 symptoms for an average of three months from the onset of illness.
- Long-haul COVID symptoms may begin after initial recovery from acute COVID or persist from the initial illness.
- Long COVID symptoms cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.
Understanding the Symptoms of Long-Haul COVID
The Aviv medical staff primarily explores the four key areas from this long-haul COVID symptoms list to diagnose long COVID.
- Dyspnea (labored breathing)
- Chest pain or tightness
- Dysgeusia (loss of taste)
- Anosmia (loss of smell)
- Joint or muscle pain
Cognitive & Psychological Symptoms:
- Memory decline
- Attention and concentration difficulties
- Brain fog
- Sleep disturbances
- Generalized disabling pain
- Lung Symptoms
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscles)
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Elevated blood pressure
- Drops in oxygen saturation
If you are experiencing long COVID symptoms,
contact our team of certified medical professionals today – click here.
The Hard Truth: Long COVID & Brain Injuries
COVID-19 essentially impacts the brain. This is why the majority of long COVID symptoms are cognitive and may lead to brain injuries, depending on how severely your body gets affected by the virus.
According to Dr. Mohammed Elimar, MD, FACP, although there are no patterns between the severity of COVID-19 and the likelihood of receiving long COVID, there are patterns between:
- Where the virus attacks in the brain
- How that location in the brain impacts long COVID symptoms
Here are four ways that connection can manifest:
1. Direct Brain Invasion
The COVID-19 virus travels through the nose, into the olfactory sensory neurons, and into the frontal lobe of your brain called the insula. The olfactory neurons manage taste and smell, while the insula oversees memory and executive function. Depending on where the virus attacks and the level of damage it creates, an individual may experience prolonged COVID symptoms.
For example, when the virus significantly attacks your olfactory nerves, this may induce a loss of taste and smell. This is why these symptoms are such a strong indicator of the virus.
2. Blood Vessel Injury
Studies show COVID-19 can destroy blood vessels that feed blood to the brain. As the virus circulates throughout your bloodstream, the inner blood vessel lining is susceptible to damage. When the inner lining deteriorates, this allows the virus to: Seep into the tissues, or inhibit blood flow to the brain. Both can cause brain injuries. And depending on where those injuries occur, specific brain functions (memory, concentration, etc.) may decline more rapidly than normal.
3. Dysregulated Immune Response
Damage to the inner blood vessel lining can also inhibit the growth of cells—the exact opposite of what our immune system should be doing. Dysregulated immune responses are common in those with severe cases of COVID-19.
When the body cannot adequately produce a normal immune response, it either: Underreacts to foreign invaders, causing viruses to spread quickly; or oerreacts to foreign invaders, causing the immune cells to attack even healthy cells, tissues, and organs.
4. Cellular Dysfunction
On a cellular level, COVID-19 can affect metabolic function through the mitochondria. This cell damage slows down the body’s response rate to infection, leading to high inflammatory conditions.
So how long will patients have to deal with COVID symptoms?
According to Dr. Mohammed Elimar, MD, FACP, the answer isn’t available.
But a key guiding factor is the extent of blood vessel damage.
Dr. Elimar further explains:
“There’s still a lot to learn about how [mitochondrial dysfunction] will last but it will probably be tied to the level of microvascular change or blood vessel damage. The more blood vessel damage you have, the more [long COVID symptoms] you’re likely going to have. Also, the amount of real estate that those microvascular changes are occupying will probably dictate how long [symptoms] will last.”
Aviv Clinics’ Treatment for Long COVID Symptoms
Long COVID is a complex disease.
Finding a treatment plan that will work for you may take some time.
Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach, speaking with a medical professional is essential.
The right physician will take a holistic approach. Due to the complexity of long COVID, it’s important to find a treatment program that:
- Is rooted in data and research
- Offers a comprehensive assessment process
- Connects you with a diverse medical team
Aviv Clinic’s team of certified physicians achieves all of the above to ensure you’re being provided with a tailored treatment plan that works for you. We connect our patients with a team of physicians, neuropsychologists, physiotherapists, nurses, and more to provide a multidisciplinary health plan – The Aviv Medical Program.
Our post-COVID symptom treatment plan can be broken down into three parts:
- In-depth medical assessment:
Leveraging advanced brain imaging, our clinical team conducts physical, cognitive, and neurological exams to gain a thorough understanding of your health.
- Tailored treatment program:
Based on your assessment, our medical team crafts a personalized treatment plan, based on the results of your assessments, that includes hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions, brain and physical training and a nutritional regimen designed to maximize the body’s healing process.
- Post-treatment assessment:
Our team initiates another round of tests to assess your progress and unique findings on any cognitive and physical improvements.
First Long COVID treatment backed by clinical trials – help heal the brain to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of long COVID
The Aviv Medical Program is backed by extensive clinical research.
The most recent study confirmed that the COVID-19 virus can cause chronic brain injury affecting regions of the brain responsible for cognitive function, mental status and pain interpretation.
In the published study, patients treated with the Aviv protocol had significant improvement in their global cognitive function and cognitive improvement in the damaged brain regions responsible for attention and executive function. Significant improvement was also demonstrated in the energy domain, sleep, psychiatric symptoms and pain interference. The beneficial effects of the unique treatment protocol can be attributed to neuroplasticity and increased brain perfusion in regions associated with cognitive and emotional roles.
Dr. Shai Efrati of summarizes the results of a study by saying:
“HBOT can induce neuroplasticity and improve cognitive performance, psychiatric state, assist with fatigue, aid sleep and relieve pain symptoms for patients suffering from post covid 19 condition. The beneficial effect can be attributed to increased brain perfusion and brain plasticity in regions associated with cognitive and emotional roles. HBOT can repair brain network connectivity and activity, and improve cardiac functions in post covid patients suffering from reduced GLS.”
WebMD recently published the research of Dr. Efrati, noting the clinical trial that began in December 2020 shows great potential for Long COVID patients whose issues are connected to brain tissue damage.
Maximize Your Health and Performance with Aviv
Though COVID-19 may have brought ongoing health challenges, the Aviv team is here to help you and your loved ones get back to optimal health. Aviv delivers a personalized protocol to enhance your mind and body and feel like yourself again.
Learn more about our team, contact our clinic to schedule a free phone consultation. Maximizing your health and performance begins with Aviv.
Choosing the Right Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Program for You
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has become available for more health conditions to help extend healthspan, improve physical performance, and manage cognitive decline. As more facilities providing HBOT open, different types of HBOT technology and treatment protocols have appeared. It has become increasingly important to understand the differences and identify the option best able to meet your health goals and needs.
What are the types of hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers?
There are two types of hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers: multiplace and monoplace chambers.
Multiplace chambers are large, modern, comfortable rooms that feature cushioned seating. They are designed much like a first class airplane seat, with personal entertainment tablets. Aviv Clinics clients receive their HBOT treatments in spacious multiplace chambers that allow them to sit comfortably and engage in brain training during the course of the session.
Aviv Clinics – Multiplace chamber HBOT suite
Monoplace chambers are rigid glass or plastic tubes that are meant for one person. Patients must use them lying down. Most clinics use monoplace chambers. People who are claustrophobic in small spaces might find them confining. People sometimes associate them with hospital burn units, wound care facilities, or MRI machines. They are sometimes even referred to as “Michael Jackson” tubes because the singer reportedly used this method from time to time.
What treatment program is used for HBOT?
HBOT treatment programs can range widely, so it is important to understand which protocol best fits your health goals. Some facilities offer single, spa-like experiences, while others provide basic HBOT for a few sessions to address specific issues. On the other end of the spectrum are comprehensive, research-backed programs, such as the Aviv Medical Program, that address issues such as mild cognitive decline, stroke, Lyme disease, PTSD and fibromyalgia.
Basic hyperbaric oxygen therapy for specific issues, such as gangrene, non-healing wounds, infections, and “the bends” experienced by some divers, has been used for decades. For these conditions, the number of HBOT treatments can be as few as one or two sessions.
A comprehensive HBOT treatment protocol, like the Aviv Medical Program, addresses issues that affect your healthspan and physical and mental performance. It differs not only because of the length—every client does at least 60, two-hour HBOT “dives” throughout the 12-week program—but also because it encompasses more than just hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Clients receive individualized exercise and nutrition coaching, as well as regular check-ins with a multidisciplinary team of physicians, physiologists, nutritionists, neuropsychologists, and other health professionals.
Be aware of clinics that offer unclear treatment protocols. Some of these facilities promote their services as more of a spa-like experience, with no standardized treatment plans or science-backed evidence to support their claims.
Is the HBOT program backed by research?
Review whether the facility you are considering has developed its treatment protocols based on scientific, peer-reviewed research. Every treatment you choose has the ability to affect your body positively or negatively, so doing your research and choosing a reputable clinic is paramount.
The pressure and length of treatments, as well as the oxygen dosage used in Aviv’s HBOT treatments, are the result of over a decade of peer-reviewed scientific research. This comprehensive protocol has been shown to maximize the body’s own regenerative power. It is a unique, proprietary system of modulated oxygen exposure that is only offered by Aviv Clinics.
What type of expert/clinician support is available?
An important consideration when choosing your hyperbaric oxygen therapy clinic is the type of expert support available to provide treatment and guidance. The best treatment protocols include a multidisciplinary team.
At Aviv Clinics, clients have access to an expert clinician team that includes physicians, physiologists, psychologists, and nutritionists throughout the 12-week program. The team continues to stay in contact with clients even after the treatment course to ensure they continue their progress. Subsequent six-month follow-up assessments are also part of the program and help clients continue to track their progress.
What assessments are performed?
Tracking progress from the start of the treatment course is needed to confirm whether your health goals were reached. Some clinics include scanning and diagnostic assessments as part of their offerings.
Aviv Clinics offers the industry’s most comprehensive battery of cognitive and physical tests to set a baseline for each client at the start. The Aviv Medical Program assessments include:
- In-depth medical intakes performed by our expert clinical team, including physicians, neuropsychologists, physiologists, physical therapists, and nutritionists
- Full battery of computerized cognitive testing that includes evaluation of your memory, focus, information processing speed, attention, and executive function
- Extensive blood tests
- Advanced MRI brain imaging protocols (anatomical, perfusion, microstructure)
- CPET – a heart and lung performance test to measure how the body produces energy with and without oxygen
- Body composition analysis, including gait, balance, and overall motor functions
- Full genetic sequencing
- Cellular performance tests including a stem cell count and assessment of aging biomarkers such as telomeres, which help to calculate your true biological age
The assessments are repeated at the end of the program. This allows our team to provide clients with a full report, summarizing progress throughout the program, and providing the data and analysis necessary to move forward with health and wellness goals.
Will there be medical support during the HBOT session?
Having professional oversight and support during your HBOT treatment is a critical consideration. At facilities that use small, monoplace tubes, clients are typically monitored through cameras.
At Aviv Clinics, a nurse is present inside the HBOT suite to support clients and ensure appropriate treatment during all hyperbaric dives. A trained technician also monitors the session from outside of the chamber. A physician is on site at all times during treatments as safety is Aviv’s top priority.
Is a comprehensive progress report provided?
Many condition-specific or other facilities work on a session-to-session basis. Even if a long-term recovery plan is the purpose, they may only track progress per HBOT treatment.
Aviv Clinics takes a holistic approach by providing all-encompassing and in-depth reports. After clients complete the Aviv Medical Program, the clinician team provides a detailed before-and-after cognitive and physiological analysis, showing their markers of improvement. Clients review their progress, one-on-one with the physician, who explains and interprets the data, and provides next steps.
The Bottom Line
An HBOT treatment protocol that is backed by research, supported by a multidisciplinary and caring clinician team, and a full range of assessments to show progress are all important considerations for choosing the right HBOT clinic to meet your health goals.
The Aviv Medical Program is rooted in extensive scientific research and trials conducted on HBOT treatment for a variety of conditions, including reversing the signs of biological aging, mild cognitive decline (MCI), post-stroke recovery, Traumatic brain injury (TBI), Lyme disease, and Fibromyalgia.
Contact Aviv Clinics to learn more about the Aviv Medical Program and how it can benefit you.
How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Improves Blood Circulation
Blood circulation is one of the most important functions in our bodies.
Without the circulation system, the brain, heart and other vital organs couldn’t receive the oxygen we need to function properly and survive. Good circulation keeps your mind sharp, your heart strong, and can even give your complexion a youthful flush. It is absolutely vital to staying strong, healthy and energetic throughout your life.
However, the aging process can slow the flow of blood throughout the body. This can cause all manner of health problems and leave you feeling tired, sluggish and weak. Fortunately, there are ways to combat poor circulation caused by the aging process. An innovative treatment protocol based on hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been clinically proven to improve the flow of blood throughout the body, and can even promote the creation of new blood vessels in the brain and other vital organs.
So how does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work to improve blood flow?
How Aging Affects Blood Circulation
As we age, the number of blood vessels in our body naturally decreases. Blood vessels are a critical part of the circulation system through which our organs receive oxygen to work properly. As smaller, tinier blood vessels naturally die off, organs no longer receive as much oxygen as they once did.
For the brain, losing circulation and not getting enough oxygen can mean losing cognitive function. You may experience brain fog or memory problems. It can be small things, such as struggling to remember where you put your keys, to more extensive neurological problems like vascular dementia.
But it’s not just the brain that’s affected by poor circulation. A lack of blood flow can affect every part of the body.
In men, a lack of blood flow can lead to erectile dysfunction or other problems with sexual health. Poor circulation can also lead to tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, muscle cramps, or swelling and pain in the limbs. It can leave you feeling sluggish and sleepy, or even leave your skin dry and discolored due to the lack of oxygen.
So how can you combat the restricted blood flow caused by aging?
Three Ways Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Can Help
HBOT improves circulation
At one time, scientists believed that the blood vessels lost to aging were gone forever. New research has revealed otherwise. Studies have demonstrated that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) can directly improve blood flow. During an HBOT session, patients breathe 100% oxygen in a high-pressure environment, like the cutting-edge HBOT suite at Aviv Clinics.
If the HBOT is delivered using a specific protocol, the increased levels of oxygen in the body can promote a process called “angiogenesis”. Angiogenesis is the growth of new capillary blood vessels in the body. This process increases blood flow in the body, helping deliver vital oxygen to organs that have been slowed by age. Angiogenesis can rejuvenate and repair your body, and the scientifically proven benefits are promising.
HBOT helps enhance cognitive health
Because angiogenesis rebuilds blood vessels, it directly promotes improved circulation in all parts of the body. In the brain, improved circulation means better cognitive function.
HBOT was shown to directly benefit the cognitive performance of patients who had all suffered a stroke 3-36 months before the research study and had at least one motor dysfunction. Patients who received a two-month protocol of HBOT treatment experienced significant improvements to their neurological functions. In some of the most dramatic results, patients regained their ability to speak, their ability to read and write, and some even regained function in paretic limbs.
It’s not just stroke patients that can benefit from angiogenesis. More studies reveal how increased blood flow in the brain can improve the lives of healthy older adults. SPECT imaging scans of patient’s brains before and after HBOT treatment reveal significant improvements to cerebral blood flow and improved function in different areas of the brain.
The results? These improvements directly correlate to increased attention spans, higher information processing speed, and improved executive function.
HBOT benefits overall wellness
The angiogenesis brought on by HBOT can help more than just your brain. Angiogenesis can benefit your entire body. Having good circulation can increase energy levels and leave you feeling more youthful and active. You may find yourself up for more vigorous physical activities outside…or even behind closed doors! HBOT has been shown to help male patients that suffer from erectile dysfunction.
In this study, thirty men who suffered from ED saw significant positive outcomes thanks to the increased blood flow from angiogenesis. The men, who averaged around 59 years of age, all reported greater overall sexual satisfaction after undergoing HBOT. Women can also benefit from improved circulation, since female arousal and sexual satisfaction depend on proper blood flow.
Other benefits of having good circulation can include faster wound healing and more youthful-looking skin, since angiogenesis promotes tissue regeneration. Good blood flow affects every aspect of your life, keeping you healthy and strong. Undergoing HBOT programs, like those at Aviv Clinics, can directly promote good circulation throughout the whole body.
The Unique HBOT Protocol at Aviv Clinics
While HBOT can produce amazing results on its own, it’s only half the battle. At Aviv Clinics, we emphasize the importance of treating the whole body. Having a poor diet and living a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to poor circulation and worsen the effects of aging. In order for the benefits of HBOT to last, healthy diet and exercise regimens must be followed. Think of it as doing maintenance on a car after undergoing an extensive series of repairs. We want you to be able to enjoy the benefits of your treatment for years to come. This is why our clients are supported by a multidisciplinary team of professionals from all areas of expertise.
The Aviv Clinics 12-week program begins with an in-depth analysis of your current physical state carried out by our team of experts. We use the extensive data collected during this time to formulate a customized treatment plan based on your biggest areas of concern. You’ll be paired with a dietician and a physiologist who will formulate custom diet and exercise regimens tailor-made to your goals. You’ll learn all about the importance of proper nutrition and how to promote good circulation. By the end of the twelve weeks, you’ll be well-equipped with the tools you need to keep the benefits of good circulation throughout your life. But our relationship with you doesn’t end after twelve weeks are up.
We’ll keep in touch with you even after the program has ended. Every six months, you’ll be invited back to our clinic for a day of physical assessment to monitor your progress. You’ll be able to see exactly how far you’ve come since you began. And you’ll understand exactly how good circulation can benefit every aspect of your life.
Contact us to learn more about the Aviv Medical Program and how it can benefit you!
New Study Shows HBOT Can Reverse the Main Activators of Alzheimer’s Disease and Help Prevent Memory Loss
A groundbreaking new study has brought scientists one step closer to preventing and curing age-related cognitive decline, especially related to early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
This landmark study, published in Aging on September 9th, is part of an ongoing program researching age-related cognitive decline. Conducted by the Sagol School of Neuroscience in Tel Aviv and Tel Aviv University, the study marks the first time that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)—a non-pharmaceutical method—has proven effective in reversing the main activators and early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
HBOT is a form of oxygen therapy that involves administering 100% pure oxygen to a patient in a pressurized environment. HBOT has been used for decades to treat other conditions, such as non-healing ischemic wounds, but for the first time, it also has shown promise as a potential treatment for reverse the main activators and early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and treat brain and cognitive problems.
A treatment based on this unique protocol is now available at Aviv Clinics Dubai.
Aging and reduced blood flow
The brain is an incredibly complex organism home to a vast network of nerve cells (neurons) that depend on oxygen to thrive. As we age, the number of blood vessels in our brain naturally begins to decline. This causes reduced blood flow to the brain, which in turn causes the brain to receive less oxygen. This decreased blood flow is also known as vascular dysfunction, and it’s a known precursor to Alzheimer’s disease, along with amyloid plaques.
What is an amyloid plaque?
Amyloid plaques are hard, insoluble clusters of proteins formed in the spaces between neurons. They’re formed from beta amyloids—microscopic protein fragments produced by certain cells in the body. In the brain, beta amyloids are found in the fluid between neurons, and a healthy brain usually flushes them out without consequence. However, just like plaque can accumulate on your teeth if you don’t clean them regularly, the same thing can happen in your brain.
As the brain ages, it’s more susceptible to forming amyloid plaques in its blood vessel walls. Once an amyloid plaque forms it can damage the neurons in the brain, ultimately resulting in neuronal death. These plaques are thought to contribute to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and the cognitive decline associated with it.
For years, scientists have wondered whether or not it’s even possible to dissolve or shrink amyloid plaques. The groundbreaking new study proves for the first time that a unique protocol of HBOT can both reverse amyloid plaques and prevent them from forming in the first place.
How HBOT can reverse amyloid plaques
Study researchers initially used HBOT with mice to understand the effect it has on amyloid plaques. In this first part of the study, researchers delivered HBOT to a group of mice whose brains contained amyloid plaques. The mice received two 60 minute HBOT sessions a day, five days a week for four weeks. The researchers discovered that HBOT significantly reduced the amyloid burden in the mice’s brains, decreasing amyloid plaques by over 30% and shrinking plaques by nearly 19%.
HBOT was also shown to prevent the formation of new amyloid plaques, and the mice exhibited improved performance on cognitive tasks when compared to the control group, giving us evidence that HBOT improved their cognitive functions.
The mice-based study gave promising new evidence that HBOT can be used as both a treatment and a preventative measure for Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers then sought to use the same protocol with human subjects.
The human test group consisted of six patients around age 70, all suffering from mild cognitive impairment. After receiving 60 daily HBOT sessions over a three-month period, the patients saw significant improvements to their cognitive functions, including better memory recall, concentration, and response times.
The researchers theorize that this is due to HBOT’s ability to increase blood flow in the brain. When the brain receives more blood, it receives more oxygen. And when the brain receives more oxygen, it can function at its full capacity.
What this means going forward
The study gives us hope that HBOT can be used as a viable drug-free and non-invasive method to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, bringing us one step closer to preventing and even repairing memory loss and mild cognitive impairment.
“By treating vascular dysfunction, we’re mapping out the path toward Alzheimer’s prevention. More research is underway to further demonstrate how HBOT can improve cognitive function and become an influential tool in the imperative fight against the disease,” affirms Dr. Shai Efrati, one of the investigators conducting the study.
Dr. Efrati is also a medical advisor to Aviv Clinics in The Villages, Florida, which is the only location in the United States to offer the specific HBOT protocol used in this remarkable study. The Aviv Medical Program uses comprehensive testing and assessments before, during, and after the treatment protocol to track progress and provide multidisciplinary clinical team support.
For more information about the Aviv Medical Program, HBOT treatment, and how it may help your brain health, please contact us.
To read the study published in Journal Aging – click here.
Reversing the Aging Process: A Closer Look at Telomeres
Aging seems to be an inescapable part of life…spines shrink, skin wrinkles, and attention spans dissipate. But what if aging was escapable — or at least reversible? What if scientists were able to target the root cause of aging in our very own cells and treat it as if it were an illness?
Researchers in Israel have conducted the world’s first study to prove that biological aging can be reversed. Through the targeted application of a unique hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) protocol, scientists were able to reverse the biological aging process in adults aged 64 and older. These findings are truly groundbreaking given the accessibility of hyperbaric oxygen treatment, however, Aviv Clinics Dubai is the only center in GCC region to offer this unique HBOT treatment protocol.
So how did these researchers manage to accomplish such a seemingly impossible task that existed only in science fiction just 50 years ago? The answer lies in telomeres, a critical component of your DNA.
What Are Telomeres?
Telomeres are essential components of a human cell that affect how our bodies age.
Understanding the role that telomeres play in your DNA is essential to understanding
(and reversing) the biological aging process. So let’s start with the basics.
DNA is a commonly understood component of human biology. Yet many of us do not go through life consciously thinking about the ways that our DNA functions. Let’s change that!
Your DNA contains the biological instructions necessary for your body to continue developing. There are millions upon millions of cellular processes occurring within a human body at any given time. DNA is essentially the manager of all of these processes — calmly instructing your cells to divide, consume, and produce complex proteins in order to stay alive. That’s where telomeres come into play. DNA sequences have beginnings and ends, which are capped off with an additional protective layer of DNA, also known as telomeres. Simply put, telomeres are simply the end-parts of your DNA.
Telomeres and Shoelaces
The term telomere (tel-uh-meer) draws from the Greek words “telos” and “meros.” Telos means “end,” while meros means “part.”
Telomeres work much like the hardened end caps of your shoelace. Those hardened end caps on your shoelace protect the delicate strings they are connected to. Without those protective caps, a shoelace can quickly come frayed and unusable. But as long as those protective caps persist, a shoelace can stay intact for quite some time — much like telomeres prevent damage from occurring to your underlying DNA. With intact telomeres, your cells are protected and they can continue functioning like normal. Without telomeres, your cells essentially begin to age and die.
The length of your telomeres begins to shorten as your body ages chronologically.
Notice the usage of the word “chronologically” in the previous sentence. Your chronological age is not the same as your biological age. In fact, your biological age is mainly determined by the length of your telomeres!
Short telomeres equate to an older biological age. Longer telomeres equate to a healthier, younger biological age. So it is completely within reason for a healthy 60 year old (chronological age) to be much younger biologically speaking, if they have long, healthy telomeres to continue to protect their cells.
As you’re beginning to see, the length of the telomere is the focus here. As we age, our telomeres shorten, exposing our DNA and leaving our body vulnerable to the diseases of aging. Some of the common diseases of aging — onset by shortened telomeres — include: Heart disease, Strokes, Diabetes, Cancer, and in some studies, dementia
When the telomeres in your cells become too short, they enter an aged, unhealthy state called senescence. In senescence, a cell can no longer divide to continue replenishing the body’s vital tissues. That is what then makes a person susceptible to the diseases listed above.
Telomeres, Oxygen, and Reversing Biological Aging
With the importance of telomeres to health and aging now understood, most people ultimately want to know how to protect them, and how to repair any degradation that has already occurred.
The scientific research team led by Dr. Shai Efrati, founder and director of the renowned Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research in Israel, proved — for the first time — that reversing biological aging is possible. By using hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), Dr. Efrati and his team of scientists were able to increase the length of telomeres in people aged 65 or older by more than 20%!
HBOT involves the patient inhaling pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. This study was conducted on 35 different adults, aged 65 and higher. Patients had their blood measured before the study, as well as during the 30th and 60th sessions of HBOT.
The findings were truly unbelievable: Patients who were given HBOT experienced telomere growth by more than 20% — in just three months! HBOT also had the effect of reducing senescent cells (those dangerous, aging cells with little-to-no telomere length) by as much as 37%. Those findings were the basis for creating the cutting-edge HBOT treatment protocol only available at Aviv Clinics.
How Can I Protect My Telomeres?
Unfortunately, about 30%-40% of your telomere length is attributable to genetics that are out of your control. Fortunately, that still leaves you with a wide margin to protect! Thankfully, there are many different ways you can protect your existing telomeres and thus control damage and the negative impacts of aging. These include:
Research has shown that people with high levels of physical activity have significantly longer telomeres than adults who are moderately active or sedentary. More specifically, adults who regularly exercise demonstrate a biological age difference of nine years when compared to those who don’t.
A Balanced Diet
Like regular exercise, a balanced diet is crucial in protecting telomere length. High levels of body fat create high levels of oxidative stress — stress that directly affects your cellular integrity.
In order to protect the length of your telomeres, you must reduce the levels of oxidative stress in your body. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in antioxidants can provide your DNA with the proper protection it needs to maintain healthy, long telomeres.
Avoiding Smoke & Alcohol
You already know that smoking and drinking alcohol aren’t the healthiest decisions — but did you know that people who smoke have shorter telomeres than those who don’t? Likewise, people who excessively consume alcohol experience faster levels of biological aging than those who don’t. The science is in! If you’re interested in protecting the length of your telomeres, stay away from tobacco and alcohol.
Stress, especially higher levels of cortisol, is one of the main reasons for shortened telomeres. Stress takes on many forms, but we are mainly concerned with: Psychological stress, Chronic stress, Life stress.
These kinds of stress raise the levels of oxidative stress placed on the cells of your immune system. Fortunately, there are many wonderful methods for mitigating stress in our daily lives. Whether it is mindfulness, martial arts, or meditating, you will likely be able to find a method that works best for you.