In a groundbreaking study led by Tel Aviv University, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has shown the potential to dramatically reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This world-first research, conducted on 18 Israel Defense Force (IDF) veterans, delivered astounding results, with half of the participants no longer meeting the criteria for PTSD following a 60-session course in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

PTSD is a severe condition stemming from traumatic experiences, often leaving parts of the brain in a state of hyper-arousal. Traditionally, PTSD treatments are psychological or psychiatric, but this research shows that a biological approach using HBOT could revolutionize PTSD treatment.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and PTSD

HBOT involves exposing individuals to pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber, increasing oxygen levels in the bloodstream. Unlike psychological treatments, HBOT aims to make actual physical changes in the brain.

The impact of HBOT was assessed through symptom evaluation and brain scans, both showing remarkable improvement. By the end of the therapy, 50% of participants no longer had PTSD. This suggests that HBOT may address biological brain tissue wounds that conventional treatments can’t.

HBOT appears to enhance brain plasticity, allowing it to heal damaged tissue. It’s not just symptom relief; it involves biological changes that could lead to innovative PTSD diagnostic tools.

Oxygen therapy induces reactivation and proliferation of stem cells, as well as generation of new blood vessels and increased brain activity, ultimately restoring the functionality of the wounded tissues.

Prof. Shai Efrati


This study represents a significant step forward in the treatment of PTSD, a condition that affects countless individuals worldwide. The promise of HBOT as a viable treatment option for PTSD is noteworthy, offering new hope to those who have long struggled with the disorder.


Jeffay, N. (2002, February 23). World-first Israeli study shows oxygen therapy can dramatically reduce PTSD symptoms. The Times of Israel.