Those who have had COVID-19-related symptoms for a long time receive new methods that include Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) which demonstrated significant improvements in neurologic, cognitive, and psychiatric function in comparison to the control group.

It was reported by Scientific Reports in a 2022 study carried out in collaboration with the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research located at Tel Aviv University, Israel by a research group headed by Professor Shai Efrati, the director of the Sagol Center.

Based on the research, between 10 and 30 percent of patients who were infected during the COVID-19 pandemic are left with chronic symptoms that can have terrible consequences on their health. WHO recognizes this condition as post-COVID-19 (long COVID).

Treatment options currently being studied for post-COVID-19 conditions include specific anti-inflammatory molecules targeted to the patient, diets, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy. However, none has been found to be effective.

Patients suffering from long COVID are still suffering from cognitive issues like lack of concentration, memory loss, Brain fog, and trouble remembering thoughts or words for more than three months after an examination that confirmed COVID-19. This study was the first of its kind, where HBOT treatment for long COVID was evaluated in a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled clinical study.

Through the study, it was learned that with certain patients the COVID-19 virus infiltrates the brain via the cribriform plaque, which is the portion of the skull just above our noses, and causes chronic brain injuries mostly in the areas of the brain that are located within the frontal lobe. that are accountable for cognition mental health, pain, and perception.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been used since its inception for treating divers from deep-sea and scuba that are suffering from the rapid shift in pressure experienced from coming back up to normal pressures. It also serves to treat tissue infections and particular diseases.

Are there any differences between HBOT treatment of damaged brain tissues as well as other tissues throughout the body?

Each treatment is fundamentally the same, but different oxygen pressures and air pressure fluctuations are utilized in the study. Specific procedures are employed to restore damaged brain tissue, using the assumption that HBOT repairs brain damage through a process called regeneration, which creates new blood vessels and neurons.

The positive effects of the specific treatment method in the study could be explained by the re-invigoration of brain perfusion and neuroplasticity in brain regions that are associated with emotional and cognitive functions.

Brain regions with significant post-hyperbaric oxygen therapy changes compared to control. Link

The program included 40 total HBOT sessions, with five sessions a week over the period of two months, during which patients were placed in a Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber and inhaled 100% oxygen via mask, with a 2 atmosphere absolute (ATA) for a total of 90 minutes per session. The oxygen levels then fluctuated at twenty-minute intervals. The participants in the control group received a placebo inhaling normal air. In some cases, the treatment may be longer.

A Maximum of 30 percent of those affected may be suffering from chronic COVID-19. Can it be realistic to offer HBOT treatment to everyone?

The amount of people suffering long COVID was at its peak at the initial stages of the epidemic, but it is now estimated to be around 10%. The question we need to be asking is whether HBOT is a successful treatment for long COVID, and if patients meet the criteria for receiving this treatment.

Are there any negative effects caused by HBOT? Is it safe?

All treatments can be prone to cause unwanted side effects and should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Based on the study, there were no statistical differences in any reported adverse reactions in HBOT and the control group. No patients are required to stop the treatment due to adverse side adverse effects.

Are there more clinical trials needed to gain approval by regulatory bodies, such as the FDA within the US and EMA in the EU?

HBOT is currently an approved therapy for various indications and was found to be efficient in many prospective studies. If the treatment is approved for this use and is covered by health insurance organizations is a different matter and could require some time. Currently, insurance would not cover for this specific reason.

The study has shown that HBOT helps to combat cognitive issues and depression resulting from Long COVID. 

Can HBOT be used to treat mental disorders like schizophrenia and depression?

Studies are coming out supporting different uses and with time they will be approved for these additional uses. You can find more studies and articles on our blog showing all the new uses for this incredible treatment HERE