Dubai: Marking a pioneering era in anti-ageing health care, the first UAE-Israel joint venture, Aviv Clinics, opened its doors at Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, on Wednesday.
The Aviv programme, based on several advanced health therapies, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, will focus on preventive and preservative health care.
The scientific leadership of Dr Shai Efrati, a pioneer of hyperbaric medicine and therapy, has guided the Aviv team. Speaking exclusively to Gulf News, Dr Efrati addressed several concerns about lifestyle-related disorders that are threatening the general health of people and compromising their immunity.
GULF NEWS: How would you define ageing?
DR SHAI EFRATI: When you are asked, ‘How old are you?’ What do you say in response? Simply put, your chronological age is the amount of time that has passed between birth and now. It is your age in terms of years, months, days. With biological ageing, many factors are considered in addition to chronological age and other health metrics. Ageing affects both physical and mental attributes. We become less able to perform physical activities, as we get older because our bodies are less effective at channelling oxygen, so we lose muscle mass and power. We also find it harder to recall things, remember words, sustain attention, solve problems, and multitask. This is called cognitive ageing. In the later stages of life, this decline in cognitive ability can eventually lead to dementia.
The Aviv medical programme focuses on improving both the physical and mental decline associated with ageing by using a scientifically tested Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) protocol at its core. This involves breathing 100 per cent pure oxygen in a pressure-controlled room, to activate the body’s self-regeneration processes.
What else does the treatment entail?
The power of the treatment lies in the combination of HBOT with a comprehensive and personalised programme — including our patented cognitive training — as well as physical training and nutritional coaching. During the treatment period, your body goes back to a regenerative stage similar to when you were a child. As such, it also becomes much more receptive to the therapy and training included in the Aviv Programme.
Everyone ages differently biologically. This is why all our clients go through a comprehensive three-day medical assessment to evaluate individual biological age before starting the treatment programme. These assessments include the most comprehensive and advanced cognitive and physiological evaluation available today.
Is it possible to reverse human ageing or is it possible only to arrest human ageing?
Our latest clinical trials published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Ageing proved for the first time in humans the effects of our unique HBOT protocol in reversing ageing at a cellular level. While we do not believe there is anything that can stop the biological process of ageing, we have demonstrated that the ageing process can be treated, like any other medical condition.
Our focus is on increasing health-span (the amount of active, productive and healthy years an individual has), restoring peak performance and reversing some biological aspects of ageing, including at the cellular level.
In the UAE, there is a high incidence of metabolic disorders. The incidence of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes and hypertension have a threshold of 45-55 years, which is ten years younger than the world average. How can Aviv clinics play a role in addressing this challenge?
The focus of the Aviv programme is rejuvenation/repair of damaged tissues, especially in the brain. This is why post-stroke patients, if found suitable, may benefit from the programme and may regain functions lost after the stroke.
The repairs mechanism triggered by the Aviv protocol includes increased stem cells replication and generation of new blood vessels (the so called angiogenesis).
One of the biggest lessons that the pandemic has taught us last year is to preserve our health. How can Aviv help in this matter?
People with good biological reserve can find it relatively easy to overcome infection, while people who do not have the appropriate reserve may collapse when the extra effort is needed. The comprehensive Aviv programme aims to reduce biological ageing and through increased biological reserves, it can increase the resilience to different types of stressors that may happen along the journey of life.
How expensive is this treatment?
The treatment costs are variable depending upon the individual, but are typically within $80,000 (Dh294,240). Coverage by health insurance is determined by providers.
Firstly, the Aviv Medical Programme is not an anti-ageing programme. It is about regaining peak performance and reversing some biological aspects of ageing, including at the cellular level.
The programme is intended for healthy adults who wish to improve their cognitive and physical performance, particularly for individuals in their late 40s.
The programme regimen is divided into four parts:
• Aviv Assessment: An in-depth medical assessment is conducted at the beginning and end of the programme. The process takes three days of cognitive and physical testing.
• Treatment: The combination of 60 HBOT sessions in HBOT suites with patented cognitive training, as well as physical training and a personalised nutritional programme.
• Analysis: After treatment, we provide clients a detailed report of our findings, which serves as their treatment record and proof of their improved performance.
• Follow-up: Clients are provided a wearable device — smart watch or bracelet — to monitor their progress and provide continued feedback on their overall performance. Clients are given a cognitive training platform for continued conservation of their overall health performance.
While in the HBOT suite, clients also receive a tablet on which they carry out a series of mental exercises, as part of their personalised cognitive training programme.