HBOT Research - Regeneration of Nerve Fibers in the Brain
A study conducted by Dr. Sigal Tal and her team at the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Israel focused on 15 patients with post-concussion syndrome (PPCS) resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI). The objective of the study was to assess the neurotherapeutic effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on prolonged PPCS using brain imaging techniques.
The patients included in the study had experienced their injuries ranging from 6 months to 27 years prior to the study, and their ages ranged from 21 to 70. Among the participants, seven were female and eight were male. Prior to treatment, the patients underwent evaluations, followed by a regimen of 60 HBOT sessions over 60 consecutive days. During the sessions, the patients received 100% oxygen at 2.0 ATA (absolute atmospheres) inside a hyperbaric chamber. The researchers then re-evaluated the patients after the treatment period.
The results of the study indicated that HBOT stimulated the brain to undergo self-repair processes, which included the growth of new blood vessels, repair of gray matter (containing nerve cell bodies), and repair of white matter (the filaments connecting cell bodies and transmitting messages between nerve cells). The research findings demonstrated various improvements resulting from HBOT, including increased information processing speed and global cognitive scores, improved verbal and nonverbal memory, improved executive function, improved verbal processing speeds, and increased cerebral blood flow and volume.
While there have been multiple studies exploring the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on the brain, further research is needed to gain a better understanding of its potential healing properties. Dr. Tal's study represents a significant contribution to this field, shedding light on the potential benefits of HBOT for individuals suffering from PPCS, who often have limited treatment options for brain healing and regaining normal functionality.
The study conducted by Dr. Tal is titled "Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Can Diminish Fibromyalgia Syndrome – Prospective Clinical Trial" and was authored by Sigal Tal, Amir Hadanny, Efrat Sasson, Gil Suzin, and Shai Efrati. The study highlights that HBOT can induce cerebral angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) and aid in the recovery of brain microstructure in patients experiencing chronic cognitive impairments due to TBI, even months to years after the acute injury. The enhanced integrity of brain fibers correlates with functional cognitive improvement. Highly sensitive perfusion MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and DTI (diffusion tensor imaging) provide insights into the neuroplasticity effects of HBOT. Further studies utilizing DTI-MRI are required to gain a better understanding of the neuroplasticity effects of HBOT in a larger cohort of patients with various types of brain injuries.