Increased levels of oxygen in a pressurised atmosphere can significantly improve chronic brain damage, say researchers.
The study, carried out by Tel Aviv University and the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Tzrifin, showed how patients who sustained brain injuries from 20 years ago improved their cognitive and physical responses following the treatment, Xinhua reported.
Doctors worldwide treat brain injuries with physical rehabilitation, but its effects have been limited partly because the window of opportunity to repair the brain damage after the injury is short.
According to the Israeli researchers who worked on the study, the advantage of using hyperbaric oxygen - high levels of oxygen in a pressurised cabin - is that the oxygen reaches deeper into the brain tissues, reviving dormant nerve cells and reactivating blood vessels.
Researchers were also positive that the study, published recently in Public Library of Science's journal PLOS One, will help treat other diseases linked to brain injury and aging, such as dementia and Alzheimer's.
"Maybe in the future we'll be able to give anti-aging treatment that will strengthen the functioning of the brain and preserve it for the rest of one's life," Eshel Ben Jacob, professor from the Tel Aviv University's School of Physics and Astronomy and the Sagol School for Brain Science, told the Jerusalem Post daily.