Shai Efrati, MD

As Chair of Aviv’s Medical Advisory Board, Dr. Efrati contributes a wealth of experience to our work.
Dr. Efrati is Founder and Director of the world-leading Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center, where he also serves as Director of Research and Development and Head of Nephrology.
Dr. Efrati’s research focuses on novel aspects of hyperbaric medicine and brain rehabilitation. He is a professor at the Sackler School of Medicine and the Sagol School of Neuroscience in Tel Aviv University. Since 2008, he has served as Chairman of the Israeli Society for Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine.

Sagol Center For Hyperbaric Medicine and Research

Dr. Efrati initiated and headed a research team examining Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), and the effect on neuroplasticity and cognitive rehabilitation. The results of these preliminary trials indicated that HBOT indeed generates neuroplasticity and increases neurocognitive abilities in post-stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients. Moreover, these improvements were evident when treatment commenced long after the acute episode.

The initial positive findings have led Dr. Efrati to form a group of multidisciplinary researchers, probing the regenerative effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen in various brain injuries, including those resulting from Strokes, Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Alzheimer's, with a particular focus on age-related functional decline. Dr. Efrati's research results have also indicated both neuroplasticity and improvements in patients with Fibromyalgia with a history of childhood sexual abuse treated with HBOT.

The effect of HBOT on myocardial function in post-COVID-19 syndrome patients

Published in Scientific Reports, June 2023

This study is the first randomized, controlled clinical trial to produce significant improvements in post-COVID cardiac dysfunction. HBOT promotes left ventricular systolic function recovery in patients suffering from post COVID-19 condition.

Read the study on Scientific Reports

Effects of HBOT on Mitochondrial Respiration and Physical Performance in Middle-Aged Athletes

Published in Sports Medicine, February 2022

The blinded, randomized controlled trial confirmed that HBOT enhances physical performance in healthy middle-age master athletes, including VO2max, power and VO2AT. The mechanisms may be related to significant improvements in mitochondrial respiration and increased mitochondrial mass.

Read the study on Sports Medicine

HBOT improves neurocognitive functions and symptoms of post-COVID condition

Published in Scientific Reports, July 2022

This randomized controlled trial confirmed that the COVID-19 virus can cause chronic brain injury affecting regions of the brain responsible for cognitive function, mental status, and pain interpretation. In the published study, patients treated with a unique hyperbaric oxygen protocol had significant improvement in their global cognitive function.

Read the study on Scientific Reports

HBOT alleviates vascular dysfunction and amyloid burden in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model and in elderly patients

Published in peer reviewed journal Aging, September 2021.

Study shows reversal in biological hallmarks responsible for development of Alzheimer’s disease. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Holds Promise for New Approach to Alzheimer’s by Targeting the Core Pathology/Biology Responsible for the Development of the Disease.

Read the study on Aging Journal

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy increases telomere length and decreases immunosenescence in isolated blood cells

Prospective clinical trial, published in peer-reviewed journal Aging, October 2020.

Clinical trial uses HBOT protocols to demonstrate cellular level improvement in healthy aging adults. The clinical study proved that the unique HBOT protocols can significantly increase telomere length and reduce the number of senescent cells. This is the first time a therapeutic intervention has been proven to reverse these two hallmarks of biological aging in humans.

Read the study on Aging Journal

Novel HBOT Protocol Can Improve Cognitive Function of Healthy Older Adults

Research published in the peer-reviewed journal Aging, July 2020.

For the first time, new study results have shown significant cognitive improvements in healthy older adults treated with HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy). The study, led by Dr. Shai Efrati and Dr. Amir Hadanny from the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, was based on a unique HBOT protocol developed at the Sagol Center during the past decade. The study indicated that cognitive functions, including attention, information processing speed, and executive function, were the significantly enhanced in healthy aging adults. Those abilities commonly decline with age. Also seen for the first time is the correlation between cognitive gain and improved cerebral blood flow in specific brain locations.

Read the study on Aging Journal