Israeli Study Reveals Oxygen Therapy is Effective Against Symptoms of PTSD

In recent news, a world-first study was conducted in the State of Israel on the veterans of the Israel Defense Force (IDF). The results revealed that oxygen therapy could bring about a dramatic reduction in the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. During the study, several of the participants made exceptional progress, which led the researchers to conclude that they no longer had PTSD. The research was personally led by the Tel Aviv University, which used the hyperbaric oxygen chambers to conduct the study on 18 veterans of the IDF. These participants had previously been diagnosed with the disorder. As of now, hyperbaric oxygen is not employed in many treatments for PTSD. 

However, the scientists who conducted the study believe that this could possibly open new doors to help people fight off the disorder. As per Dr. Keren Doenyas-Barak, who is a member of the team that carried out the study, this research was started to find a treatment for PTSD. She stated that the emphasis had been on researching a treatment that would have an impact on the physical changes inside the brain. She went on to say that this approach does not employ any psychological tools, rather lays emphasis on the use of biological tools. In her words, it is a representation of a fresh and new treatment. Doenyas-Barak added that the effect of oxygen therapy was analyzed by using brain scans, as well as running standard assessments on the symptoms, which are commonly used to diagnose the disorder in the first place. 

She revealed that both of them displayed a strong improvement. As per the diagnostic scale, half of the people being treated in the study were found to no longer exhibit any symptoms of PTSD by the time the study concluded. She further explained that the therapy works by raising the plasticity of the brain. Consequently, it enables any wounds in the tissue of the brain to heal. PTSD is a disorder that is triggered when one experiences a traumatic event that they are unable to fully process. Thus, various parts of the brain are left in a state of constant hyperarousal, bringing harm to its elasticity. The leader of the research, Prof. Shai Efrati, stated that after concluding the study, the team was able to understand that PTSD, which is resistant to clinical treatment, is often caused due to a biological wound to the brain tissues. 

Eventually, it obstructs any attempts being made by psychiatric and psychological treatments. He talked about how oxygen therapy is responsible for inducing the proliferation and reactivation of stem cells. Moreover, it helps in the generation of additional blood vessels and boosts activity in the brain. Ultimately, it ensures the restoration of any functionality of the damaged tissues. Several years have been spent by Efrati’s team in exploring the various options of therapy. They have been trying pressurized chambers for a while now, allowing participants to breathe in pure oxygen. As of now, he is working at Tel Aviv University and is the director of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research. 

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