When it comes to ischemic stroke treatment, many physicians focus on the short treatment window of three hours where the blood-thinning medication can be administered. While this medication can dissolve the clot, allowing many stroke patients to see improvement in symptoms, most patients do not receive treatment within that window and are turned over to rehabilitation to learn new ways to live with their symptoms. For this reason, stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. However, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, offers a new option. Even years after a stroke, hyperbaric oxygen can breathe new life into the brain, often reducing or eliminating stroke symptoms.
Study Brings New Life to Stroke Patients
A 2013 study led by Dr. Shai Efrati of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine found a way to restore neurological function to areas of the brain originally thought to be chronically damaged from a stroke. While a normal brain consumes up to 20 percent of the oxygen a body brings in normally, this is not enough to regenerate damaged areas. Dr. Efrati found that the increased oxygen levels provided in hyperbaric oxygen therapy provide the necessary oxygen levels to rebuild neuronal connections and stimulate inactive neurons.
Dr. Efrati’s study included 74 patients that were all 6 to 36 months post-stroke. Dr. Efrati divided the patients into two groups. The first group received HBOT from the start. The second group received no treatment for two months, then received two months of HBOT. The results showed significant improvement in neurologic function based on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), increased scores in activities of daily living, and quality of life. SPECT imaging of the patient’s brain showed improved brain activity.
Outside of the study, Dr. Efrati has experienced similar improvements in patients up to 20 years post-stroke, showing that HBOT has the ability to bring new life to the brain and stimulate new growth.
To find out more information on how HBOT and hyperbaric oxygen can help improve your life after a stroke, even years later, visit HERE.
It’s Never Too Late to Try Something New
HBOT is a non-invasive therapy option that allows you to relax in a hyperbaric chamber and let the oxygen do all the work. No needles. No medications. A simple oxygen-rich environment that feeds the brain and stimulates new activity.
Every stoke patient is different, as is the damage their stroke causes. While some patients may find improvement after even the first session, others may require more treatments. Here at National Hyperbaric, Dr. Spiegel has found great success in treating stroke patients. A family member’s stroke and lack of recovery were actually what led Dr. Spiegel to Hyperbaric Medicine. He found great success treating this family member. He believes strongly that this can make a big difference for his other patients.
No matter how long it has been since you suffered a stroke, HBOT can still offer benefits and even help improve your quality of life. Don’t wait any longer! Give our office a call today and set up an initial consultation with Dr. Spiegel and see just how HBOT can help. You can also visit HERE and fill out an online information request form.