Brain-stimulating stem cell therapies at a Dubai health clinic may delay the aging process and rebuild tissue to stop mental decline, doctors have said.
It may not be the answer to eternal youth, but treatments at the Aviv Clinic have been shown to improve mental alertness, physical performance, and could be used to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The treatment includes oxygen therapy sessions where the patients are confined in a hyperbaric chamber.
The process prompts the body to produce more stem cells – known to be the key to life and the building blocks of new tissues and blood vessels that carry oxygen.
The research at the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research in Israel was led by Dr Shai Efrati, an expert in the field who has now opened a clinic in Dubai offering anti-aging medical treatments.
âWhat we do in medicine is take people below their middle age and make them okay,â he said.
âGenetics are responsible for less than 5% of our age-related health problems and physical decline.
âThe strongest signal we have in our body is hypoxia, a lack of oxygen. The body senses that there is a problem, so naturally begins to reproduce the growth of new stem cells.
âWe can trick the body into bringing oxygen to a very high level in the blood, and then quickly coming back down to a normal level.
“The body interprets this process as hypoxia and is tricked into producing more stem cells.”
Newborns are inundated with stem cells because the new tissue is at a rapidly growing stage, but this level deteriorates with age, leading to mental and physical decline.
The World Health Organization estimates that between 2000 and 2050, the growth rate of the population over 65 in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait will increase by 5%.
The change in the demographics of the population of GCC countries could lead to an increase in the possible number of people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (Hbot) is a non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive method of delivering pure oxygen to patients in a pressurized environment.
The process speeds up normal organ function and tissue repair.
Early detection is crucial
Studies by the Sagol School of Neuroscience in Tel Aviv and Tel Aviv University have shown that Hbot has been shown to be effective in reversing the main activators and early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
“If you start monitoring and treating people early on, there should be no reason for them to get Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr Efrati said.
âBrain function needs to be monitored because it is at the heart of the whole body and more checks and interventions need to be done to maintain it and prevent severe decline.
âWe can develop a community without Alzheimer’s. This is the number one threat to our society, it will have a huge economic impact.
âIf people can live better longer, they will need less health care and pass their knowledge on to others. This will take Homo sapiens to the next level.
A deep dive into established methods
Inside the Aviv Clinic, huge compressions force air out of the hyperbaric chambers, forcing the air molecules together to allow oxygen to dissolve more easily in the tissues of the body.
The concept has been around for many years and is used to recompress deep water divers to remove nitrogen from their blood.
It has also been used to repair tissue in burns, before more recent developments in rebuilding brain tissue by regenerating new blood vessels and stem cells.
Patients at the clinic undergo a three-day assessment to assess their physical and mental condition to give doctors an idea of ââbasic performance capacity.
Therapy is complete for two hours a day, five days a week for 12 weeks.
âIt repackages the body, so these changes cannot be made overnight,â Mike Frayne, managing director of Aviv Clinics at Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai.
“If new tissue grows, that improvement is locked in. With the new MRI equipment, we can see the improvements in blood flow and brain function.”
The therapy can also be used to treat traumatic brain injury, stroke, and even long Covid.
Special pediatric hyperbaric chambers can also help children with some kind of brain disorder correct the deficit in their brain tissue.
No cost was given for a course of therapy, but doctors said about 1,000 people received the treatment at clinics in Israel and the United States.
“Stem cells are the body’s universal soldier and go anywhere in the body where they are needed to grow new tissue,” Frayne said.
âThis therapy can encourage healthy aging and reverse some of the natural breakdown of brain tissue.
“Eventually the price will drop and it will become common.”
Updated: November 20, 2021, 11:53 AM