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Shai Efrati - Dissociation from the Biological Aspect – The Wound in the Brain

Dissociation from the Biological Aspect – The Wound in the Brain

Shai Efrati

Clinical studies published in recent years present convincing evidences that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can be the coveted neurotherapeutic method for brain repair of neurological incidents like traumatic brain injury, stroke and central sensitization syndrome (most known by its prototype Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS)). This new understanding leads to a paradigm change in the way we refer to chronic brain injuries; from now these should be thought of like other non-healing wounds in other parts of the body. The classical candidate for HBOT is a patient with unrecovered brain injury, where tissue hypoxia is the limiting factor for the regeneration process. In this patient, HBOT may induce neuroplasticity in the stunned brain regions where there is an anatomy/physiology mismatch.

As part of the ongoing research program done on FMS, unexpectedly in the course of HBOT, a series of patients suddenly recalled repressed traumatic memories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). The surfacing of the repressed (dissociative) memories decades after the sexual abuse events was sudden and utterly surprising. No psychological intervention was involved. As the memories surfaced, the physical pain related to FMS subsided. Additional biological insight was gained in the ongoing clinical research program done on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) using HBOT to induce neuroplasticity. Using advance brain imaging techniques, the biological non-healing wounds can be visualized and biologically treated just like other wound.

The new biological perspective on the non-healing brain wounds, the accumulating data on CSA survivors, and new results gained from veterans suffering from prolonged unrecoverable combat PTSD will be presented and discuss in this lecture. Taking together the surfacing of the repressed memories, using biological induction of neuroplasticity, with the changes seen in the advanced brain imaging give new insight to the biological aspects of dissociation and its related clinical presentation.

Dr. Shai Efrat, Ph.D., The Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, Shamir (Assaf-Harofeh) Medical Center, Israel; Sackler School of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel-Aviv University, Israel


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