Oxygen therapy might improve areas of brain damage - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Oxygen therapy might improve areas of brain damage

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Israeli researchers say the conditions of brain-damaged patients can be reversed by using high levels of oxygen.

Israeli researchers say that brains that have been damaged as long as 20 years can be improved.

The research team from Tel Aviv University and Assaf Harofeh Medical Center reported that oxygenating dysfunctional areas of the brain can vastly improve motor function, memory and cognitive functions many years after the original injury. 

"The cells in this location have unaerobic metabolism. It means that the cell has enough energy to stay alive but it doesn't have the energy needed for the action potential, for the full activity, and this is where the hyperbaric can help," said researcher Dr. Shai Efrati with Assaf Harofeh Medical Center.

"With the hyperbaric therapy when the metabolic function is being regained in this area the patient can speak again, and if it's the motor area of the hand then the hand will start moving years after the acute injury, which is something that was unbelievable to me. I have been taught in medical school that such neuroplasticity so late after the acute injury cannot happen, but we see it."

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not new, but Dr. Shai Efrati is focusing on dead tissue assumed impossible to treat. His team specifically focuses on neurons that retain enough energy to stay alive but not enough to fire electrical signals.

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