What is stroke?
A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, because of a blockage or a blood vessel rupture. This stops the brain getting the oxygen it needs and cells begin to die, which can lead to brain injury.
Stroke is the second highest cause of mortality and the third highest cause of disability worldwide. Up to 50% of stroke survivors suffer from some form of motor disfunction or brain impairments including memory loss, difficulty focusing and processing information, and inability to reason.
How HBOT can help with
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a common treatment for medical conditions associated with a lack of oxygen and wound healing, and research shows that it can help with the healing of brain injuries like stroke.
At Aviv, we first diagnose the severity of the brain injury with physical and neurological tests to assess suitability for HBOT treatment. 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.
The Aviv Medical Program combines two processes that can help stroke survivors. First, we increase the oxygen levels in the body, giving your brain an energy boost. Then, we fluctuate the level of oxygen. This variation in oxygen supply triggers the body’s natural process of regeneration.
Benefits of HBOT for stroke survivors
Benefits for your brain:
- Rejuvenation of injured brain tissue, restoring some or all of the functions impacted by the damaged tissue.
- Increased blood flow in the parts of the brain associated with sensation, memory, vision, and attention, leading to better memory function, attention span, executive function, and faster information processing speed.
- Significant increase in blood flow to the brain (brain perfusion) and the generation of new blood vessels in the brain (angiogenesis).
- Improved psychomotor function (the combination of precise motor responses and cognitive problem-solving abilities).
- Improved NIHSS (neurological motor function score), ADL (activities of daily life score), and EQ-5D (quality of life score).
- HBOT triggers neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to adapt/react in response to injury or disease – in injured parts of the brain, even years after stroke.
- HBOT reactivates and triggers neurogenesis – neuronal (nerve cell) regeneration that occurs in the brain.
- Improved quality of life overall.
Benefits for your body:
- Better physical performance: fitness, strength, coordination, balance
- Boost energy, power, and stamina
- Reduce pain (strong anti-inflammatory effect)
- Sleep better
- Improve sexual performance (for men)
Benefits for your cells:
- Strengthen your immune system
- Encourage stem cells – the building blocks of tissue rejuvenation – to multiply and migrate
- Lengthen the telomeres – the protective caps at the end of each strand of DNA. Encouraging telomeres to lengthen is associated with extending our biological clock
- Reduce senescent cells – known to contribute to many age-related diseases
- Increase mitochondrial function – the power plant in each of our cells
The Aviv Medical Program: How it works
The Aviv Medical Program has proven clinical results based on over a decade of research at Shamir Medical Center. Our program includes:
In-depth medical assessment
A comprehensive three-day medical, physiological and mental assessment conducted by Aviv certified medical staff including physicians, neuropsychologists, physiotherapists, physiologists and nurses. This includes the most advanced brain imaging tests suited to your needs, such as perfusion MRI, fMRI and SPECT.
A unique treatment including HBOT protocol
You’ll have HBOT sessions five days a week for 12 weeks – 60 consecutive two-hour sessions in total.
Alongside your HBOT sessions, your dedicated medical team will coach you through a personalized brain and physical training program and nutritional regime designed to maximize the effects of the oxygen treatments.
At the end of your treatment, we repeat the tests from the initial assessment to measure results and make recommendations for your ongoing progress.
We’ll give you a comprehensive medical report summarizing all of the changes that occurred throughout your treatment, supervised and signed by your professional healthcare team led by our Chief Medical Doctor.
Stroke research and HBOT:
Clear, proven research
Recent clinical studies at the Shamir Medical Center have evaluated the effects of HBOT on patients suffering from neurological deficiencies caused by stroke. In the latest research headed by Dr. Amir Hadanny and Dr. Shai Efrati, the team evaluated the effects of HBOT on the world’s largest cohort of stroke patients. A retrospective analysis was conducted on 162 patients who were treated with HBOT for chronic stroke (>3 months after the insult) between 2008-2018 at the Sagol Center.
HBOT led to significant improvements in all cognitive domains, even in the late chronic stage. The clinical improvements were achieved regardless of the type of stroke or where it occurred in the brain.
Read the full researches in the links below:
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves neurocognitive functions of post-stroke patients – a retrospective analysis
Restor Neurol Neurosci, 2020; 38(1):93-107
Hyperbaric Oxygen Induces Late Neuroplasticity in Post Stroke Patients – Randomized, Prospective Trial
PLoS One 8, no. 1 (2013): e53716.