Patients enjoyed renewed motor skills, memory, and verbal functions
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/11/2013 -- While most would consider brain damage to be an irreversible affliction, regardless where it stems from, that belief may be proved wrong by new research out of Israel.
Whether through the result of a stroke, traumatic injury, or metabolic disorder, brain damage is often thought of as a permanent state once caused. However, Israeli researchers have recently reported that they have found treatment that can reinvigorate the dormant neurons, and even improve basic motor function. The treatment utilizes simple oxygen to complete this task, and the treatments apparently can do things other treatments have failed to do.
The study focused on post-stroke patients, utilizing hyperbolic oxygen therapy, with a high-pressure chamber where the oxygen-rich air increases oxygen levels within the body to levels that are tenfold the norm.
A report in the journal PloS ONE that was released mid-January showed analysis of the brain imaging which expressed that significant neuronal activity increases could be noted after 40-60 days of treatment was given. The results were compared to a control period of non-treatment.
The patients in the treatment experienced measurable improvement within respective neurological function, including the reversal of paralysis and increased sensation. Others noted renewed use of language, and the results could be noted years after the stroke had already taken place.
The study has been carried out by the Tel Aviv University group and the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, which is led by Dr. Shai Efrati and Prof. Eshel Ben-Jacob. The experts predict that the hyperbolic oxygen treatment method could mean the difference in the daily lives of those afflicted with the after-effects damaging mental episodes.
One question is whether or not dementia can be helped with the treatments as well.
Efrati noted that the hyperbolic oxygen treatment is specific to the need of targeting neurons that still have energy in then that can be propelled. That means that neurons without such potential cannot be helped.
“The findings challenge the leading paradigm since they demonstrate beyond any doubt that neuroplasticity can still be activated for months and years after acute brain injury, thus revealing that many aspects of the brain remain plastic into adulthood,” said Ben-Jacob.
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