Measuring Cognitive Enhancement During Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments

Overview

The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of short-term HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen treatments) on a range of cognitive abilities. The current study examined whether there is a HBOT-related short-term cognitive improvement and, if so, what specific cognitive abilities are improved by the intervention. Participants were randomized to perform cognitive tasks in one of two chambers with two different clinical environments: (a) HBOT condition: (2 ATA (atmosphere absolute) 100% oxygen for 90 minutes). (b) Control condition: in which the chamber was not pressurized (Normobaric condition- 1 ATA for 90 minutes).

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Single (Participant)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: November 2, 2018

Detailed Description

The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of short-term HBOT on a range of cognitive abilities. The current study examined whether there is a HBOT-related short-term cognitive improvement and, if so, what specific cognitive abilities are improved by the intervention. Participants were recruited through ads on the internet and on student social groups. All participants underwent a comprehensive physical and neurological examination, and general medical conditions were ruled out. Participants were excluded if reported changes in their cognitive or behavioral functions during one month prior to the beginning of the study. Smokers (people who smoke more than seven cigarettes a week) were required to take a lung x-ray confirming there isn't a pulmonary pathology, such as pneumothorax, pulmonary bullae, emphysema, or other lung pathologies preventing them from staying in a high ATA environment. Participants with an abnormal x-ray were excluded from the study. Participants who regularly use Methylphenidate (i.e. Ritalin) or other stimulants for attention disorders (i.e. ADHD) were instructed not to take it at the day of the experiment. Following consent, all the participants were exposed to the testing battery in a group setting. One of the experimenters went through each of the sub-tests instructions in a detailed manner prior to a practice phase in which participants trained on the tasks. Afterwards, participants were randomized to perform the tasks in one of two chambers with two different clinical environments: (a) HBOT condition: (2 ATA 100% oxygen for 90 minutes). The atmospheric pressure in this condition was set to 2 ATA. This ATA level is known to have a clinical effect, whereas higher-pressure levels may result in inhibitory brain effects or even lead to focal toxicity (Efrati and Ben-Jacob, 2014). (b) Control condition: in which the chamber was not pressurized (Normobaric condition- 1 ATA for 90 minutes) and participants breathed air (21% oxygen). In this condition, ATA was elevated for a few minutes to 1.2 ATA in order to mimic the feeling of pressure building up in the ears. The pressure was decreased soon after to 1 ATA. The assessment began 30 min after participants wore the oxygen masks within the chamber, in order to enable appropriate brain oxygenation in the HBOT condition (Vadas et al., 2017). The battery was composed of cognitive tests adapted for high functioning subjects and adjusted to an in-chamber group administration setting.

Interventions

  • Device: Hyperbaric oxygent treatment
    • Subjects will enter the oxygen chamber. ATA will be elevated to 2 ATA. They will breath 100% oxygen while solving cognitive tests designed to assess their cognitive capacities
  • Device: Control hyperbaric oxygen treatment
    • Subjects will enter the oxygen chamber. ATA will be elevated to 1.2 ATA for a short while and the decreased back to 1 ATA. They will breath air while solving cognitive tests designed to assess their cognitive capacities

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: HBOT environment
    • Cognitive testing in 2ATA, 100% oxygen in breathing-masks
  • Sham Comparator: Control environment
    • Cognitive testing in 1ATA, air in breathing-masks

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • memory
    • Time Frame: after 20 minutes of intervention
    • Number of words retrieved from a list
  • Working memory
    • Time Frame: after 20 minutes of intervention
    • accuracy rates on a working memory paradigm (n-back)
  • Divided attention
    • Time Frame: after 20 minutes of intervention
    • accuracy rates on a divided attention task (identifying visual and auditory targets)
  • Information processing speed
    • Time Frame: after 20 minutes of intervention
    • Accuracy rates on an information processing speed task (Symbol tracing task)
  • Response inhibition
    • Time Frame: after 20 minutes of intervention
    • Accuracy rates on a response inhibition task (stroop)
  • Problem solving
    • Time Frame: after 20 minutes of intervention
    • accuracy rates on a problem solving task (solving arithmetic series)

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Age 20-40 – intact sight / corrected sight – Hebrew as mother tongue – Intact comprehension Exclusion Criteria:
  • Active neurologic or psychiatric diagnosis. – If Had been treated with HBOT for any other reason prior to their inclusion; – Chest pathology ; – Inner ear disease; – Claustrophobia;
  • Gender Eligibility: All

    Minimum Age: 20 Years

    Maximum Age: 40 Years

    Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

    Investigator Details

    • Lead Sponsor
      • Assaf-Harofeh Medical Center
    • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
      • Principal Investigator: Prof. Shay Efrati, Medical Director of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine – Assaf-Harofeh Medical Center
    • Overall Official(s)
      • Shay Efrati, Study Director, Assaf-Harofeh Medical Center

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