Researchers from Tel Aviv University have shown that treating post-concussion syndrome patients with pure oxygen helps to regrow blood vessels and nerve endings. This could help to alleviate cognitive symptoms ranging from headaches to mood changes.
Researchers have revisited hyperbaric oxygen sessions as a possible treatment for brain damage sustained after a concussion. According to a report compiled for Congress by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in a single year, approximately 2.2 million emergency room visits were for traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The majority of these injuries are considered mild and are commonly called concussions. These injuries are common in contact sports and in soldiers.
Most individuals who suffer a concussion are able to heal back to normal brain activity, yet up to five percent of sufferers can experience long-term symptoms. This is called post-concussion syndrome and it can manifest with headaches, mood changes, and other cognitive problems. The symptoms are caused by damage to blood vessels in the brain, making it more difficult for the organ to receive adequate oxygen.
A study published in 2013 showed that treating post-concussion syndrome patients with pure oxygen significantly improved cognitive function and quality of life for participants. Research conducted by a team at Tel-Aviv University in Israel, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, shows exactly how this treatment heals the brain. Shai Efrati, the lead researcher explained that “Once the extra oxygen diffuses into damaged areas, it supplies energy and the regenerative process can happen.” The extra oxygen helped to regrow blood vessels and nerve fibers.