By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
Joel Leyden, publisher of the Israel News Agency, served on the first Board of Directors established for Alzheimer’s disease in New York City.
Tel Aviv, Israel — October 31, 2021 … Science says that you can reduce aging and chronic disease by eating tasty, nutritious meals and staying physically fit. According to a new peer-reviewed study by Helfgott Research Institute scientists published in Impact Journals LLC, movement and a mindful diet don’t just make you feel good—they can also reverse your biological age. Much of this information is not new. What is new is something called hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Israeli scientists now say they have managed to successfully reverse the biological aging process – using only oxygen. Recent research led by Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Shai Efrati, together with a team from Shamir Medical Center, discovered that when healthy adults over the age of 64 were placed in a pressurized chamber and given pure oxygen for 90 minutes a day, five days a week for three months, not only was the aging process delayed – it was actually reversed.
Based on an exclusive partnership with the world’s largest hyperbaric medicine and research facility, the Sagol Center at Shamir Medical Center in Israel, the Aviv Medical Program was developed over the past decade, combining unique protocols of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) with a proprietary personalized program of cognitive and physical training. More than 1,000 people worldwide have already been treated according to Aviv’s progressive twelve-week program, currently offered in Florida and Dubai at Aviv Clinics.
“Aviv is playing a starring role in today’s healthy aging movement,” states Jonathan Preminger, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aviv Scientific. “The new round of funding is a testament to our outstanding clinical outcomes, world-class team, strategic partnerships and cutting-edge technology. We look forward to seeing sustained success and are inspired by the strong support from investors who share our vision.”
This new, breakthrough research has led to Aviv Scientific, recently announcing the closing of $40 million in a oversubscribed Series B funding round. Led by Israel’s largest public medical services conglomerate, Danel LTD; Jeff Horing’s Deep Insight Fund; the country’s most successful high-tech angels and entrepreneurs; international longevity and health span optimization focused investors; the Series B fundraise will accelerate the global rollout of its network of medical clinics and the development of the Aviv Aging Database.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) — treatment in which patients are given pure oxygen — prevented the biological processes responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s disease, a study found.
In addition, in a group of older people with memory loss, oxygen therapy enhanced blood flow in the brain and improved overall cognitive abilities and memory, the study showed.
“By studying and treating Alzheimer’s disease in the animal model, we can implement our findings to include humans as well,” said Uri Ashery, PhD, head of the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University and a study co-author.
“After a series of hyperbaric treatments, elderly patients who were already suffering from memory loss showed an improvement of blood flow to the brain – as well as a real improvement in cognitive performance,” Ashery said. “Consequently, we succeeded in demonstrating the latent potential of hyperbaric medicine for treatment of neurologic conditions that originate from hypoxia — that is to say, a deficiency of oxygen reaching the cells.”
These findings suggest that “hyperbaric therapy given at a young age is likely to prevent this severe disease entirely,” said Ronit Shapira, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Tel Aviv University and the study’s lead author.
“By treating the root problem that causes cognitive deterioration with age, we are in fact mapping out the way to prevention,” says Efrati .
“It is likely that hyperbaric medicine can potentially provide the opportunity for living with good brain function without relating to chronological age. The idea is to commence therapy before the onset of clinical symptoms of Dementia and before deterioration and loss of extensive brain tissue. This is the stage at which blood vessels become occluded and the blood flow and the oxygen supply to the brain are diminished – a phenomenon that can already take place at a relatively early age”.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT is the administration of 100% oxygen at a pressure greater than one atmosphere. It is approved in the U.S. for 13 indications — including decompression sickness resulting from scuba diving, for which it likely is best known — and has been used off-label to improve cognitive function following a stroke or a post-traumatic brain injury, known as a TBI.
MRI scans showed hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly increased blood flow in several brain areas from 16 to 23%, compared with before treatment. After HBOT, there was a significant increase in the overall cognitive score, from 102.4 to 109.5, in which memory, attention, and information processing speed scores were most improved. Furthermore, the post-HBOT mean memory scores improved from 86.6 to 100.9.
In addition to hyperbaric oxygen therapy an Israeli-American project is seeking to provide treatment for Alzheimer’s disease with cutting-edge, made-in-Israel ultrasound technology.
The cooperation established between Dr. Zion Zibly, director of neurosurgery at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and Dr. Ali Rezai, head of the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University, intends to fight the disease using non-invasive ultrasound waves to deliver therapy directly to the brain without endangering it or requiring any surgery. “This technology allows us to temporarily and safely open the blood-brain barrier, which is a barrier in the blood vessels that usually prevents antibodies or large molecules of medications from getting to the brain,” Rezai said.
The ultrasound procedure has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Now both the Sheba Medical Center and Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute are focusing on using the same system to target other brain diseases including using ultrasound waves to treat brain tumors.