A new breakthrough made by doctors at Tel Aviv University in Israel appears to offer a “significant” recovery for stroke victims.
Clinical trials found that sitting inside a pressurized chamber pumped full of oxygen-rich air for 90 minutes a day, five days a week over two months, caused the brains of stroke victims to have neurological activity in "useless" areas created by the stroke, reports RawStory.com.
The effect is similar to someone using an oxygen tank for breathing, except this is a much more concentrated amount of oxygen within a confined space.
In the study published on Wednesday by scientific journal PLoS One, each of the patients selected for the trial had suffered a stroke within 36 months of the treatment and all had at least one motor function impairment.
The researchers wrote in their study, “We found that the neurological functions and life quality of all patients in both groups were significantly improved following the HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) sessions."
Dr. Shai Efrati, who led the study, said in a press release: “It is now understood that many brain disorders are related to inefficient energy supply to the brain. HBOT treatment could right such metabolic abnormalities before the onset of full dementia, where there is still potential for recovery.”
The Centers for Disease Control says that each year nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke and about 130,000 die. Strokes are also the leading cause of long-term disability among adults, and about 34 percent of those who suffer strokes are younger than 65.