Traumatic Brain Injury
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.
While research is currently limited, cognitive, physical and behavioral support can have positive effects on children with TBI, 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?Read More
Traumatic brain injury (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.
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.
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
HBOT and pediatric TBI patients – a controlled study
In a study of 56 pediatric patients, the 28 who received HBOT had a shorter hospital stay, better neurological outcomes, and a drastic reduction in disability compared with the control group who didn’t receive HBOT.
HBOT effects on post-concussion syndrome in children
The Shamir Medical Center began a first-of-its-kind controlled and randomized study on HBOT and post-concussion syndrome in children in 2017. The results of the study will be published in the next few months.
In the meantime, you can learn more about research into
HBOT in brain injury rehabilitation here.
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.