A recently published video by Neurology Live features the chief medical research officer at Aviv Clinics, Amir Hadanny, discussing the impact of long COVID on patients, and explaining his findings from a recent study. His research revealed that using a hyperbaric oxygen therapy protocol shows promise as a form of treatment.
“Our goal was to target the pathophysiology, exploring recovery and regeneration in brain injuries to apply similar principles to long COVID,” Hadanny said. “The trial revealed significant improvements, not just in symptoms, but in the actual brain regions affected by COVID, bringing us closer to understanding and treating long COVID effectively.”
The Neurological Impact of Long COVID
Long COVID is identified by persistent symptoms that extend beyond the acute phase of the virus. Long COVID has been particularly challenging for pathologists to nail down due to the varied and often elusive nature of its symptoms. However, some of the symptoms commonly experienced by patients are neurological. They include cognitive impairment, fatigue, headaches, and dizziness. In short, they often impact an individual’s everyday ability to function. Intervention has been sorely needed.
“We started seeing patients with chronic symptoms, people with cognitive deficits, emotional issues, sleep issues, physical disabilities. All of a sudden we started to see a piling up of issues,” Hadanny explained. “We decided, ‘All right, perhaps where we’ve found recovery and regeneration in other brain injuries can be applied here.’ So, that’s what led us to start a randomized controlled trial with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.”
A Trial for Long-Term Healing
Dr. Hadanny’s study not only explored the neurological impact of the virus, it also investigated whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can serve as an effective treatment for mitigating long-term symptoms. Improved cognitive function, reduced fatigue, and alleviation of headaches are among the positive outcomes reported by patients who underwent the clinical trial.
Hadanny explained that not only had the quality of his patients’ lives significantly improved, but that his team was also able to correlate the lessened symptoms to improvements in different regions of the brain. “The endpoint was that we were able to improve the cognitive function and wellbeing of long COVID patients within forty sessions,” he said, before stating that the effectiveness of the treatment also depended on how long a patient had been suffering from the condition.
Why Did it Work?
Hadanny selected oxygen therapy because it had helped to regenerate areas of the brain in past studies. So, why does it work as a neurological treatment? The fact is that enhanced oxygenation has proven its potential in supporting cellular metabolism, reducing inflammation, and repairing damaged tissues.
While Hadanny’s findings offer a glimmer of hope for patients struggling with the adverse effects of long COVID, more clinical trials will be necessary in order to validate these findings, establish standard treatment protocols, and identify specific patient populations that may benefit most from this approach.
As with any medical intervention, Hadanny’s findings emphasize the importance of curiosity and careful observation. With any luck, this discovery could go on to lessen the pain and discomfort of thousands.
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