What is a stroke injury?
A stroke is an injury that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. This stops the brain getting the oxygen it needs and cells begin to die, which can lead to brain injury.
Pediatric stroke is relatively rare, ranging from 1.2 to 13 cases per 100,000 children under 18 years of age. It can happen any time throughout childhood, and even before birth — this is known as perinatal stroke.
As stroke is often undiagnosed, cases may be higher than realized. Up to 66% of children who suffer from a stroke have persistent neurological disorders or learning and developmental problems, including trouble with muscle weakness, muscle tightness, swallowing, thinking, or talking.
The benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for adults who have suffered stroke have been well established in clinical and pre-clinical studies. So far, there have been no studies specifically evaluating the effects of HBOT on pediatric stroke patients.
Want to learn more? Contact the clinic and speak to our care team to see if your child is eligible for the treatment.
How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can help your child?
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 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 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.
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Proven benefits of HBOT for Stroke survivors
Benefits for the mind:
- 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, 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).
- HBOT triggers neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to adapt/react in response to injury or disease.
- HBOT reactivates and triggers neurogenesis – neuronal (nerve cell) regeneration that occurs in the brain.
- Clinical improvements regardless of the severity of the stroke.
- Improved quality of life overall.
Benefits for the body:
- Improve motor capabilities
- Improve flexibility / decrease in muscle tone or spasticity
- Improve gait and balance
- Enhanced physical therapy
- Improved sleep quality
Benefits for the cells:
- Strengthen the immune system
- Encourage stem cells – the building blocks of tissue rejuvenation – to multiply and migrate
- Enhance cellular regeneration processes
- Increase mitochondrial function – the power plant in each of our cells
Still Not Sure if The Aviv Hyperbaric Oxygen Program is Right for Your Child?
The Aviv Medical Program: How it works
At Aviv, we treat stroke survivors 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 three-day medical, physiological, and mental assessment carried out by Aviv certified medical staff including pediatric neurologists, pediatric neuropsychologists, physical therapists, speech therapist, occupational therapists and nurses.
This includes the most advanced brain imaging tests suited to your child needs, such as perfusion MRI, functional 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.
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 all of the changes that occurred throughout your child’s treatment, supervised and signed by the professional healthcare team led by our Chief Medical Doctor.
TBI and HBOT:
Clear, proven research
Persistent post-concussive syndrome in children after mild traumatic brain injury is prevalent and vastly underdiagnosed
Nature, March, 2022
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves neurocognitive functions of post-stroke patients – a retrospective analysis
Restor Neurol Neurosci, 2020; 38(1):93-107