02-23-2022 CBN News Jerusalem Emily Jones
JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University are using oxygen therapy to treat the brains of Israeli military veterans who are suffering from PTSD. They hope their techniques can be used to help PTSD patients around the world.
The study specifically focused on 35 veterans whose PTSD has persisted despite being treated with psychotherapy and psychiatric medications. Previous research has indicated that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), which puts patients in highly-pressurized oxygen chambers, can help increase oxygen levels in the brain and enhance the generation of new blood vessels and neurons.
“The veterans were divided into two groups: one group received HBOT while the other served as a control group. Following a protocol of 60 treatments improvement was demonstrated in all PTSD symptoms, including hyper-arousal, avoidance, and depression,” says Dr. Keren Doenyas-Barak. “Moreover, both functional and structural improvement was observed in the non-healing brain wounds that characterize PTSD.”
The team believes that most patients will continue to see improvements years after treatment.
Prof. Shai Efrati says treatment-resistant PTSD is caused by a “biological wound.”
“(HBOT) treatment induces reactivation and proliferation of stem cells, as well as generation of new blood vessels and increased brain activity, ultimately restoring the functionality of the wounded tissues,” says Prof. Efrat.
The team of researchers published their peer-reviewed study in the prestigious scientific journal PlosOne.
“This study gives real hope to PTSD sufferers,” says Dr. Doenyas-Barak. “For the first time in years the study’s participants, most of whom had suffered from severe PTSD, were able to leave the horrors behind and look forward to a better future.”
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