Scientific References

The following section includes references to studies carried out by the team at The Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research in Israel as well as relevant studies done by others.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) includes the inhalation of 100% oxygen at pressures exceeding one atmosphere absolute (1 ATA) in order to enhance the amount of oxygen dissolved in the body’s tissues. During HBOT treatment, the arterial O2 tension typically exceeds 2000 mmHg, and levels of 200–400 mmHg occur in tissues.Historically, HBOT has been applied worldwide mostly for chronic non-healing wounds. HBOT has been recognized as a conventional medical treatment for decades and has been used to treat chronic indications such as ischemic non-healing wounds and delayed radiation injury. Accordingly, the safety profile of HBOT, when used appropriately, is considered to be high with generally infrequent, reversible potential side effects.In recent years, there is growing evidence related to the regenerative effects of HBOT, in particular, that the combined action of both hyperoxia and hyperbaric pressure, leads to significant improvement in tissue oxygenation while targeting both oxygen and pressure sensitive genes, resulting in improved mitochondrial metabolism with anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, recent research suggests that these genes may induce stem cell proliferation and augment circulating levels of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and angiogenesis factors, which induce angiogenesis and improved blood flow in the ischemic area.In recent years there is growing evidence that HBOT may also induce neuronal regeneration and neuroplasticity. The intermittent increase of oxygen concentration induces many of the mediators and cellular mechanisms that are usually induced during hypoxia but without the hazardous hypoxia, termed the hyperoxic-hypoxic paradox.Among other effects, the intermittent hyperoxic exposure during HBOT may affect HIF-1 levels, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) activity, VEGF, induce stem cell proliferation, augment circulating levels of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and angiogenesis factors, as well as induce angiogenesis and improved blood flow in the ischemic area. In addition to stimulation of EPCs, HBOT may decrease the inflammatory response in endothelial cells mediated by TNF-alpha, and thus, promote vascular recovery. Both animal and human studies suggest that HBOT may have beneficial effects on mitochondrial function.Much of the recent research in the field of HBOT has been conducted in the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at the Shamir Medical Center in Israel, one of the leading teaching hospitals in Israel affiliated with Tel Aviv University.The Sagol Center is the world’s largest hyperbaric medicine and research facility and employs a large multidisciplinary team of Physicians, Neuroscientists, Neuropsychologists, Biologists, Physiologists, Physical Therapists and Nutrition Experts.Their recent research suggests that HBOT can induce neuroplasticity and regeneration of damaged brain tissue even years after the acute insult. Moreover, by using new comprehensive brain imaging, the potential recoverable brain tissue may be characterized and identified prior to the treatment.As a result, the range of therapeutic indications for HBOT treated in the Sagol Center in Israel was expanded to include: Cognitive Performance and Aging, Traumatic Brain Injury & Post Concussion, Post Stroke Patients, Chronic Pain Syndrome- Fibromyalgia, Erectile Dysfunction, Safety of Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment.