What is a TBI?
Brain injury is estimated to occur in 250 per 100,000 children and adolescents in the U.S., with 90% of cases resulting from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). More than 25% of TBI cases are severe enough to need rehabilitation.
Symptoms of moderate to severe TBI in children include impairments to self-care, mobility, cognition, behavior, speech, and language. Even mild cases of TBI can result in cognitive disabilities, and emotional, sleep, learning and behavioral disorders. As children with TBI get older, they can experience challenges in processing information, reasoning, and impaired judgment.
Cognitive, physical and behavioral support can have positive effects on children with TBI, concussion or Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS). We know that the brain needs an adequate supply of oxygen to repair damage – and that’s where Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy comes in.
More about TBI and PCSRead More
What is a Traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
TBI is sudden damage to the brain caused by a blow or jolt to the head. Common causes include road accidents, falls, concussions and sports injuries. Mild cases of TBI affect the brain temporarily.
More serious injuries can lead to long-term health complications such as difficulty thinking and remembering, loss of motor skills, sleep disruption, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and more.
TBI damages the brain by disrupting or restricting blood flow to certain brain regions, which impacts their ability to function properly.
What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
When the symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) persist past the point of normal recovery — one to two months — the condition is known as post-concussion syndrome (PCS). This chronic condition results from micro damage to the small blood vessels and nerves in the brain. PCS can cause multiple physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms that can persist for years if not properly diagnosed.
Chronic Symptoms of PCS:
Not all PCS patients experience the same chronic symptoms, and different symptoms may present at different times. Common symptoms of PCS include:
Dizziness, headaches, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, fatigue, trouble falling asleep, short-term memory loss, forgetfulness, lack of focus, irrational anger and anxiety.
If left untreated, PCS can exacerbate mental health issues, increase psychiatric hospitalization, and cause self-harm.
Groundbreaking clinical trial shows remarkable results for kids with TBI
A new study published in Scientific Reports shows that a unique hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) protocol used by Aviv Clinics is a highly effective treatment for healing damaged brain tissue and relieving ongoing post-concussion symptoms.
The study found that participants in the treatment group experienced a significant increase in cognitive function. This included an improvement in their general cognitive score, improvement in memory, and executive function, following the HBOT treatment. Additional improvements included a positive change in brain structure, and an enhanced emotional score covering issues such as anxiety, depression and more.
How HBOT can help?
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 TBI patients. 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 TBI patients
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 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 TBI
- Improved quality of life
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:
- Encourage stem cells – the building blocks of tissue rejuvenation – to multiply and migrate
- Increase mitochondrial function – the power plant in each of our cells
- Cellular regeneration processes
- Strengthen the immune system
The Aviv Medical Program: How it works
At Aviv, we treat TBI 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
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in children with post-concussion syndrome improves cognitive and behavioral function: a randomized controlled trial
Scientific Reports volume 12, Article number: 15233 (September 2022)
Persistent post-concussive syndrome in children after mild traumatic brain injury is prevalent and vastly underdiagnosed
Nature, March, 2022
- Role of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in severe head injury in children
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Can Improve Post Concussion Syndrome Years after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury – Randomized Prospective Trial
PLoS One 8, no. 11 (2013): e79995.
Effect of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on Chronic Neurocognitive Deficits of Post-Traumatic Brain Injury Patients: Retrospective Analysis
BMJ Open 8, no. 9 (Sep 28 2018): e023387.