Israeli scientists have shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve the recovery of stroke victims.
“We are thrilled to bring a new hope to stroke patients worldwide,” said the lead author of a new study, Amir Hadanny of Shamir Medical Center. “Significant improvements were demonstrated in all cognitive domains including memory, information processing speed, attention and executive functions.”
According to a new study by the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, the memory and attention of patients can improve even months and years after the stroke.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy adds elevated levels of oxygen to the blood. This higher concentration can significantly improve cognition and brain tissue recovery, the study showed.
“Despite nearly half of stroke survivors suffering from differing degrees of cognitive dysfunction, most rehabilitative efforts focus on restoring motor functions,” co-author study Shai Efrati of the Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center, said
“The rehabilitation potential lies in the metabolic characteristics of the chronic damage or brain wound,” Efrati said. “By utilizing our HBOT protocols, the injured but viable brain tissue can be recovered even years after the acute insult.”
Stroke can cause death and physical and cognitive disabilities that affect memory, attention, speech, information processing and motor skills.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which has traditionally been used to treat decompression sickness for scuba divers, takes place in a pressurized room or a tube with increased air pressure so that the person inside breathes higher concentrations of pure oxygen.
In the study, 86 percent of 162 patients who suffered a stroke in the last three or more months, “achieved clinically significant improvement in their cognitive function,” according to a statement.