What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disorder in childhood. CP is in fact the result of a brain injury caused by lack of oxygen or blood supply which may occur early in development in the womb or during infancy.
Classically, CP is described as a group of permanent disorders of movement, posture and muscle tone causing activity limitation. However, these are commonly associated with other cognitive, emotional, behavioral sensation and perception disorders, thus, CP children can have very different levels of functioning and quality of life.
The use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for CP has been investigated for the past 2 decades. Research showed HBOT can restore brain function and regeneration.

 

CP has no cure and management of children is directed towards maximizing function and participation in activities and minimizing the effects of the factors that can make the condition worse. These management strategies include enhancing neurological function during early development with physical therapy, different rehabilitation techniques, managing medical comorbidities and preventing secondary musculoskeletal problems.

 

The use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for CP has been investigated for the past 2 decades.

Already in 2001, a study on 111 CP children showed HBOT can improve gross motor function, speech, functional skills as well as cognitive function. Most striking improvements were noticed in attention and memory domains. These effects were 36 times larger than would be expected in any other CP rehabilitation program.

In 2012, HBOT effects were shown to be beneficial more than 8 months after the last session.

In 2021, a meta-analysis of 25 studies including over 2,146 CP patients showed HBOT can induce significant motor, development, language, and comprehension improvements.

  • image of How HBOT can help CP?
  • How HBOT can help CP?

    Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a common treatment for medical conditions associated with a lack of oxygen, and research shows that it can help with the healing of brain injuries.

    At Aviv, we first diagnose the severity of the brain injury with both physical neurological and imaging tests to assess suitability for HBOT treatment. Visualizing the metabolic dysfunction and its correlation to function is critical. We then advise on a HBOT treatment plan.

    HBOT involves breathing 100% pure oxygen in a special room known as a HBOT suite. This, combined with the elevated pressure in the suite increases the amount of oxygen in the blood several fold, which helps damaged tissue regenerate and heal faster.

    HBOT is able to restore brain function in the areas that were stunned by the original injury in the womb or infancy. Importantly, even after long period of time and years after the brain injury, HBOT can induce regeneration.

  • image of The Aviv Program for CP
  • The Aviv Program for CP

    The Aviv Medical Program combines a state of the art HBOT protocol along with a multi-disciplinary advanced rehabilitation to enhance both motor, cognitive and functional improvements. Our protocol has been used for 2 decades and treated hundreds of CP patients in the Shamir Medical Center in Israel.

    • Physical therapy combining virtual reality and interactive environments
    • Advanced robotic treadmill for gait analysis and rehabilitation
    • Occupational therapy
    • Novel cognitive training
    • Diet optimization
    • Close monitoring by all medical professionals
    (including pediatric neurologist, nurses, neuropsychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapist and dietitian).

Proven benefits of HBOT for CP patients

Benefits for the mind:

Benefits for the mind:

  • Injured brain tissue regeneration, restoring some or all of the functions impacted by the damaged tissue.
  • Increased blood flow in the parts of the brain associated with memory, vision, and attention, leading to better memory function, attention span, and faster information processing speed.
  • Generation of new blood vessels in the brain (angiogenesis).
  • Improved psychomotor function (the combination of precise motor responses and cognitive problem-solving abilities).
  • HBOT triggers neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to adapt/react in response to the disease.
  • HBOT reactivates and triggers neurogenesis – neuronal (nerve cell) regeneration that occurs in the brain.
  • Improved quality of life.
Benefits for the body:

Benefits for the body:

  • Improve motor capabilities
  • Improve flexibility / decrease in muscle tone or spasticity
  • Improve gait and balance
  • Enhanced physical therapy
  • Improves sleep quality
Benefits for cells:

Benefits for cells:

  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Increase mitochondrial function – the power plant in each of our cells
  • Cellular regeneration processes
  • Encourage stem cells – the building blocks of tissue rejuvenation – to multiply and migrate

Aviv Medical Program - How it works

At Aviv, we treat CP using a specific research based HBOT protocol.
The Aviv Medical Protocol is based on over a decade of research at Shamir Medical Center with proven clinical results and the first in the world randomized and controlled trial in pediatrics.

 

Our program includes:

  • In-depth medical assessment

    A comprehensive multi-day medical, physiological, and mental assessment carried out by Aviv certified medical staff including pediatric neurologists, pediatric neuropsychologists, physical therapists, speech therapist, nutritionist, occupational therapists and nurses. This includes the most advanced gait analysis and imaging tests suited to your child needs including brain MRI and SPECT.

  • A unique treatment including HBOT protocol

    Your child will undergo HBOT sessions five days a week for 12 weeks – 60 consecutive one-hour sessions in total. Alongside the HBOT sessions, your child will receive personalized brain training and physical training designed to maximize the effects of the rehabilitation.

    During the program, your child will have weekly/biweekly appointments with our specialists (pediatric neurologist, physical therapist, pediatric neuropsychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist), as well as customized sessions for parents.

    Based on case by case evaluation, the medical staff will determine the need for a chaperon (parent, relative, nanny) for your child during the HBOT sessions.

  • Post-treatment assessment

    At the end of your treatment, we repeat the tests from the initial assessment to measure results and make recommendations for your child ongoing progress.
    We’ll provide a comprehensive medical report summarizing the changes that occurred throughout your child’s treatment, supervised and signed by the professional healthcare team led by our Chief Medical Doctor.

HBOT for CP
Clear, proven research:

 

In 2001, a study on 111 CP children showed HBOT can improve gross motor function, speech, functional skills as well as cognitive function. Most striking improvements were noticed in attention and memory domains. These effects were 36 times larger than would be expected in any other CP rehabilitation program.

 

In 2021, a meta-analysis of 25 studies including over 2,146 CP patients showed HBOT can induce significant motor, development, language, and comprehension improvements.