תא לחץ: כשהחמצן הופך לתרופה
המוצר: שימוש בחמצן היפרברי לטיפול בפגיעות מוחיות
המפתח: פרופ' שי אפרתי החברה: אוניברסיטת תל אביב בשיתוף עם אסף הרופא
תחילת הפיתוח: 2008
Product: Use of Hyperbaric Oxygen for Treating Brain Injury
Developer: Prof. Shai Efrati
Company: Tel Aviv University together with Assaf Harofeh Start of Development: 2008
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can renew brain tissue, thereby improving patients’ neurological and cognitive state. This discovery lies at the basis of a groundbreaking study led by Prof. Shai Efrati, Director of R&D at the Hyperbaric Institute of the Sagol School of Neuroscience in the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. In essence, the oxygen serves as medicine. The patients enter a hyperbaric chamber with compressed air for 90 minutes, during which the amount of oxygen in their lungs, blood, and body tissues rises, leading to improved tissue function, including brain tissue damaged as the result of a head injury.
Research began following observation of patients undergoing hyperbaric (pressure chamber) treatment for non-healing diabetes wounds, and for whom the treatment was also seen to improve their neurological and cognitive state. Brain mapping following the treatment revealed that damaged areas of the brain “return to life” with improved function. As a result of these findings, in 2008 Assaf Harofeh Hospital began a study examining renewal of damaged brain tissue of post stroke patients. They subsequently explored whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy can induce neuroplasticity and neuro-cognitive improvement in other cases of brain damage including concussion, brain damage and chronic pain (fibromyalgia), even years after the acute insult. The research and treatment led to an understanding that brain damage should be regarded as a wounded tissue and treated accordingly.
The current study focuses on reversing the expected age-related cognitive decline and treatment of the incurable Alzheimer’s Disease. A basic research project has also begun under the supervision of Prof. Uri Ashery, Head of the the Sagol School of Neuroscience in Tel Aviv University, to better understand the treatment-related processes that create new blood vessels and neurons in the brain.
The extensive research activity in these fields positions Israel as a world-leading center of excellence with regard to hyperbaric medicine and contributes to Israel’s standing as a leading global center of brain research. The activity carried out in Israel is copied in other centers in the US, Europe and other countries.